Home Entertainment Drift review – beautiful yet undercooked character study

Drift review – beautiful yet undercooked character study

by admin

Save for its few flashback moments of horrific, haunting trauma, Drift, the largely quiet story of a West African migrant reeling from the unimaginable on a Greek resort isle, is simple on the eyes. Director Anthony Chen’s movie, from a screenplay by Susanne Farrell and Alexander Maksik, provides harried aftermath the sheen of tranquil the Aristocracy, resilience hiding in plain sight – the gang of barely clothed, languid white our bodies dotting star Cynthia Erivo’s opening stroll down the seashore, the bleached yellow of the Mediterranean solar, the best way Erivo’s Jacqueline slowly, rigorously washes her one set of garments. Even Jacqueline’s evening ritual, arranging plastic luggage of pebbles for a makeshift seashore cave mattress, takes on the lulling rhythm of a reverie.

It’s a variety of compelling aesthetic, anchored at most turns by Erivo’s dedicated, tense efficiency, that like many a Sundance film can solely cowl a lot undercooked construction. Drift, primarily based on Maksik’s 2013 novel A Marker to Measure Drift, depends on Jacqueline’s trauma-fragmented reminiscence to unfold the story too slowly. For the primary half hour, Jacqueline is generally a cipher, scrounging for cash through beachside foot massages by day, flitting by shadows and dodging bigoted police by evening. We catch tantalizing snippets of her clearly suppressed previous in too-short flashbacks – a time when she had lengthy braids and a white British girlfriend (Honor Swinton Byrne), a time when she lived in England, a joyful second along with her privileged minister’s household in militarized Liberia. The script’s spareness – what yr is it? How did Jacqueline get right here? Why is she so alone? – provokes equal elements thriller and frustration.

Issues decide up a couple of half hour in, as soon as Jacqueline encounters a conspiratorial, caring tour information named Callie (Alia Shawkat). An American emigre with a sunny disposition, Callies takes an curiosity within the skittish Jacqueline, for causes which might be by no means fairly clear sufficient. The connection, nonetheless thinly sketched, introduces much-needed momentum into the story – to reply any of Callie’s questions, Jacqueline should lie (her British accent permits her to pose as a vacationer on vacation from London) in a method her white-knuckled grip on traumatic recollections can not maintain.

The remainder of the 93-minute movie performs as a personality examine of Jacqueline’s tentative therapeutic below the eye of one other particular person – typically form, typically badgering, at all times remarkably constant – and the eventual reveal of absolutely the horror that flung her, penniless and terrified and alone, from Liberia. That revelation is gut-wrenching, and meticulously edited to convey simply sufficient atrocity with out tipping into gratuitousness. The remainder of the movie, in distinction, feels too blunted on the edges; scenes between Jacqueline and Callie, which lean closely on glances and freighted silences, play as irritating fragments quite than sentences.

Drift advantages immensely from the commanding presence of Erivo, who is healthier within the extra dramatic expressions of emotion – sobbing by the reveal of her story, or panicking at a triggering expertise of claustrophobia – than she is in Jacqueline’s mode of blinkered inwardness. Whether or not it’s an underdone script or the character’s repression or Erivo’s efficiency, Jacqueline typically comes off, within the quieter moments, as curiously clean, although at all times intriguing. Shawkat is given even much less characterization, however nonetheless pops on display; a greater film would have made way more out of her charisma and Jacqueline and Callie’s chemical, nascent curiosity in one another.

Drift is in the end, aside from the climactic sequence which clearly relays why Jacqueline hides out and barely seems to be folks within the eye, a movie that leans too arduous on suggestion. There’s hints of a flirtation of between Jacqueline and Callie, of Jacqueline’s previous life with a white British household, of the hazard posed to Jacqueline by anti-migrant sentiment on the Greek island (one other level muddled by the movie’s free time interval; the novel is ready within the aftermath of a violent political coup in Liberia in 2003.) Every thread is individually intriguing, particularly as embodied by Erivo and Shawkat. However collectively, it’s a skinny tapestry. Although fantastically rendered and delicate to the muzzling grip of trauma, Drift leaves an excessive amount of unsaid.

Source link

You may also like

Leave a Comment