Adrift (A Deriva) (15)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/11/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins

Beautifully shot, impressively directed coming-of-age drama with terrific performances from all three leads, though it's slightly let down by a disappointing climax.

What's it all about?
Directed by Heitor Dhalia, Adrift is set in the 1980s and stars newcomer Laura Neiva as 14-year-old Filipa, who's come to Buzios, Brazil for a beach holiday with her author father Mathias (Vincent Cassel), her mother Clarice (Debora Bloch) and her two younger siblings. Aware of simmering tension between her parents, Filipa is furious when she discovers that her father is conducting an illicit affair with Angela (Camilla Belle), a young American woman.

Determined to do something about her father's affair but lacking in evidence, Filipa ropes in local boy Artur (Daniel Passi) to help spy on Mathias, and the pair begin a tentative relationship. However, Filipa's grasp of the adult world isn't quite as strong as she thinks it is and there are several surprises in store.

The Good
Cassel is in fine form and delivers his performance in what appears to be flawless Portuguese, while Belle is suitably enigmatic throughout. In addition, there's strong support from Brazilian actress Debora Bloch, while Neiva makes an assured debut as Filipa; her scenes with Cassel are particularly good.

The film is beautifully shot, with gorgeous cinematography from Ricardo Della Rosa that makes the most of the stunning locations, the sun drenched seascapes and the acres of tanned flesh available. The direction is equally impressive, particularly in the use of framing devices (obscured doorways, windows, etc) and a restricted sound design during the spying scenes, to indicate that Filipa might not be getting the whole truth.

The Bad
That's not to say the film is without flaws - for one thing, the 1980s setting seems completely pointless (you barely even notice it), unless it's to ensure that no-one has a mobile phone. Similarly, the climax is something of a let-down, given the tense build-up beforehand and it lacks emotional impact as a result.

Worth seeing?
Despite its flaws, this is an enjoyable coming-of-age story with gorgeous photography and terrific performances from its three leads. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 24/02/2019 02:02

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