Based on the true story of survival, a young couple’s chance encounter leads them first to love, and then on the adventure of a lifetime as they face one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.
The fact this movie is based on a true story is mind-boggling. A woman is forced to survive for over 40 days on a boat following Hurricane Raymond in 1983. And she must treat her injured boyfriend to boot. She deals with a “caught sheet” (a sail wrapped around the rudder), harpoons fish underwater for food, searches for and amazingly finds food below the deck, stitches up her own head wound and treats her boyfriend’s leg injury.
Shailene Woodley (from the Divergent movies), stars alongside Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) as the real-life couple Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp. They fall in love when she meets him as he asks for her help when he docks his ship. Soon after, he agrees to take a yacht to San Diego on behalf of a rich couple. The pay will be great, and Tami joins him—but soon the plan is interrupted by an impending hurricane. They both are wounded, but Richard more seriously so. She manages to pull him off a dinghy and get him back to the ship.
The viewer will no doubt place himself/herself into this scenario and ask the inevitable questions: What would I do if thrust into this situation? Could I survive? Could I survive for over 40 days? Could I stitch myself up or treat my wounded boyfriend, or girlfriend? Could I find food? How would I handle it psychologically? Rest assured, all of these things are dramatized in the film. And it is so nice to see a survival story set at sea that doesn’t feature sharks!
The director uses a flashback point of view, going back and forth from the survival point of the story to the early love story that blossomed between the two young lovers. This is nicely handled and fleshes out the story. However, due to strong profanity and drug use, not to mention brief nudity, we are unable to award the film our Dove Seal. As a survival movie, it is nicely portrayed. And the love between the two protagonists raises the stakes for survival even higher.