Directed by: Ben Nott, Morgan O’Neill
Starring: Sam Worthington, Myles Pollard, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Xavier Samuel, Sean Keenan, Robyn Malcolm, Aaron Glenane, Steve Bastoni
Sassi’s Star Rating: 3/5
A tale about brothers, a slice of surf history, and a whole lot of impressive waves. Drift emerges from Aussie shores, and dives into the surf culture of 1970s Western Australia. Loosely based on real events that aren’t well defined, Drift is directed by Ben Nott and Morgan O’Neill.
The Kelly brothers Jimmy (Xavier Samuel) and Andy (Myles Pollard) love surfing, but struggle for acceptance in a small Western Australia town. Their mother Kat (Robyn Malcolm) is a seamstress struggling to make ends meet. When hard working Andy decides to start selling surf gear, he employs the help of his troublesome younger brother Jimmy, and their talented yet unreliable friend Gus (Aaron Glenane). But despite Andy’s business sense, Jimmy and Gus end up brining trouble to their growing surf shop.
Sam Worthington pulls into town as the free spirit surf photographer JB, driving a psychedelic bus and bringing his friend’s surfing daughter Lani (Lesley-Ann Brandt) in tow. The Kelly brothers instantly bond with JB and his surf philosophy, and start the rivalry that only brothers can accomplish, for the attention of beautiful Lani.
The opening shots grip you, as we emerge into black and white footage of a tense scene as the main characters flee their home. The cinematography is superb, and the nostalgia of black and white film sits peacefully. Though all too soon the film jolts as, unlike the nice slide into color when Dorothy arrives in Oz, we are thrown into the deep end as the harsh colors jar with the previous subtle hues, over saturating the screen with a more Hollywood look.
Drift encapsulates the feel of surf culture in the 70s and the desire of individuals to start their own Australian surf brands. The premise is good, and Worthington (sporting blue highlights in his hair), Glenane, and Pollard stand out as the most interesting characters, but the film falls flat in having too many subplots that don’t deliver the punch you were expecting. Drift still has clever parts, impressive waves, and is an enjoyable film, but it feels pulled in two directions – between the smooth tide of emerging Aussie films and the rip of a Hollywood blockbuster, Drift gets stuck in the doldrums.
Drift dips a toe into the drama that it should have dived head first into, but that won’t bother surf fans as there are still plenty of amazing surf scenes paired with the tumultuous story of brotherly love.
Grab your board and catch some waves. Drift barreling into cinemas now!
Category: Film & TV