Life is over, the masks are torn off: the plot and meaning of the drama “Drift”
Genre: thriller, drama, based on real events
Year of production: 2006
Directed by: Hans Horn
Cast: Susan May Pratt, Richard Speight, Niklaus Lange, Ali Hillis, Cameron Richardson, Eric Dane
Slogan: “Fatigue, hypothermia, death” (“Fatigue. Hypothermia. Death”)
The film “Drift” (Open Water 2: Adrift) by Hans Horn tells the story of six friends who, through their own stupidity, found themselves face to face with the open sea. Having jumped from the yacht into the water, they forgot to lower the ladder, and it became impossible to return back. The meaning of the film “Drift” is that the sea does not forgive mistakes, and people in an extreme situation are able to reveal themselves from a completely unexpected side.
What real events is the movie based on?
A similar story really happened in Australia, on the Great Barrier Reef. The passengers of the yacht jumped into the sea, forgetting to prepare a ladder to get back. All of them died on the high seas. The scriptwriters used only the outline and the essence of this story in the film. The characters and details of the thriller are fictitious.
What is the movie about
The film begins with shots taken with an amateur camera. Four friends go to the beach together with surfboards. Amy and Dan are a loving couple. Zach and Lauren are also with them. Dan says that they are his best friends and they will always be on the same team. The recording cuts off, and the message “Based on a true story” appears on the screen.
Five years have passed. The friends get back together to celebrate Zach’s birthday. Amy is no longer dating Dan. She is married to James and they have a young daughter, Sarah. Zack and Lauren meet them on the road and arrive at the pier together. Here they must find Dan and his yacht, on which they agreed to celebrate the celebration. After getting out of the car, Amy immediately puts on a life jacket. She has aquaphobia – she is terribly afraid of water due to a trauma experienced in childhood.
Frame from the film.
Friends find Dan in a cabin with his next girlfriend Michelle. Everyone gathers together on deck as Zach blows out the candles on the birthday cake. Dan thanks everyone for coming after five years and raises a toast to his friends. Meanwhile, the yacht moves away from the coast for several miles. The friends decide to take a swim. Michelle is the first to jump into the water with an inflatable dolphin, followed by Zach, Lauren and James. Amy goes to the cabin to feed Sarah. When she returns to the deck, Dan decides to play a prank. He takes her in his arms and, despite her desperate cries, jumps overboard.
Amy goes into shock. The viewer sees a brief summary of the story from her childhood, when her father suddenly died and drowned while swimming. Hence her fear of water.
Amy needs to be urgently hoisted aboard, but then everyone notices that the yacht has not lowered the ladder. When it becomes clear that just jumping to the side will not work, Michel begins to panic. She is tired and cold, it seems to her that someone is biting her legs. Dan tries to calm her down, but to no avail. She simply lays down on the water and begins to pray frantically.
Suddenly, friends hear a cell phone call. The sound comes from the deck. Zach’s jacket is on the edge at the very edge, the phone is in his pocket. Zach jumps up and grabs the sleeve of his jacket, pulling it into the water. The device gets wet, everyone just has time to hear the voice of Zach’s sister. She wishes him a happy birthday, but she herself does not hear what they say to her. Then the phone turns off. Zach throws him into the water in desperation.
A boat sails by. Friends start shouting “Help!” and wave your arms. But the people on deck do not understand them, but simply laugh and wave their hands in response. The ship is removed. After some time, Dan comes up with the idea to make a rope out of their clothes and throw it on board. Friends take everything off themselves and tie them together. In the end, Dan manages to hook the rope onto the iron railing on board. He rises, but the rope does not hold up and breaks.
James decides to check if it is possible to get into the yacht from the bottom side. He takes a knife, puts on a mask and dives under the ship. Having descended to a great depth, James begins to choke and in a panic quickly emerges, but hits his head on the bottom. He has a traumatic brain injury, blood flows from his ears and nose. Amy sees that her husband is in trouble and screams that he needs to go to the hospital. Friends understand that things are very bad.
Zach takes the knife from James and with the words “That’s it, I’ve had enough!” swims to the yacht. He tries to stick the knife point into the slot on the board, but Dan starts to protest. An altercation breaks out between the men, and Dan accidentally stabs Zach in the side. Michelle is afraid that the blood will attract the sharks and swim away. When friends remember her, she is no longer on the surface of the water. Michelle drowns and becomes the first victim.
After some time, Zack dies from blood loss. James is also very bad. He constantly says that he has a severe headache and is cold. Lauren decides to swim for help. She does not know which way to move, and just swims away at random.
James starts scolding Dan, blaming him for everything. When Amy tries to calm him down, he sees the hidden meaning in her words and says: “You protect him! What, old love doesn’t rust? Of course, Dan is a millionaire, more promising … ”And then Dan admits that this is not his yacht. He just stole it from his boss. He tells how he cheated on girls like Michelle, pretending to be a rich guy. But he himself is just a nobody, an errand boy. This explanation shocks Amy.
At night, a storm begins with rain and strong winds. James is dying. Dan and Amy are alone. Dan tries to dive with his mask on to find the knife, but it doesn’t make any sense. Suddenly he has a cramp. Amy rushes to Dan’s aid, takes off her vest and hands it to him. Friends stay on the water with the last of their strength.
Susan May Pratt played the role of Amy and Richard Speight Jr. played the role of James. Frame from the film.
Dan berates himself in desperation and yells, “I should have died!” He breaks the glass out of his swimming goggles when he gets an idea. He swims to the side of the yacht, inserts the glass into the slot and calls for Amy. She climbs onto his shoulders, then onto the hands holding the glass, pulls herself up and climbs out onto the deck. First of all, she presses the button and lowers the ladder for Dan, then runs to her little daughter.
After feeding Sarah, Amy goes on deck and realizes that Dan is nowhere to be found. Glancing overboard, she sees it drift away from the yacht. She realizes that Dan has decided to commit suicide. Having overcome her fear of water, the woman rushes overboard. She manages to pick up Dan, the footage of what is happening is interspersed with a description of events from Amy’s past. Then she, as a child, tried to pull her drowned father to the surface in the same way.
In the last frames you can see how an empty yacht is standing in the middle of the open sea. A fishing boat sails up to her, the man looks at the ship, from which the hysterical cry of a child is heard. And then the viewer sees Amy standing on the deck and Dan lying at her feet. The meaning of the ending of the film “Drift” is that the woman was able to cope with her fear and correct the mistake of the past. She didn’t let the one she once loved die.
The meaning of the film
In the film, the author wanted to convey to the viewer several main ideas at once. First, human stupidity can sometimes cost too much. After all, it was the heroes themselves who often became the culprits of their suffering in similar situations.
For example, in the film “The Shallows”, the main character went to ride a board on a closed beach, despite the ban. In the thriller 127 Hours, the hero went to the desert without basic means of communication. In the finals of Everest, climbers would have survived if full, and not empty, oxygen cylinders had been delivered to the indicated point. In the drama Frozen, the friends would survive if they didn’t forget to take their phones with them.
It is clear that in an extreme situation people get lost and sometimes cannot see the elementary way to salvation. But if they were initially more circumspect, then this path would not have to be sought. “Drift” clearly shows how carelessness and self-confidence can be costly when it comes to the elements of nature, in front of which everyone is equal and unambiguously weak.
Also, the essence of the film is that we never know exactly how we will behave in a situation with a real threat to life. These moments unmask people, make them who they are, without embellishment. And Amy, in her funny life jacket, who seemed the weakest in the team, turns out to be stronger than everyone else. Dan, having lost friends, realizes that all this time he lived someone else’s life, seeing the meaning in what had no value. At the end of the film, he repents and cleanses his soul, even if it’s too late.
- “Open Sea”, USA, 2003. Susan and Daniel fly to the Bahamas on vacation. Together with the rest of the tourists, they dive into the ocean depths in suits. But, having surfaced, the couple realize that the boat left without them.
- “Frozen”, USA, 2010. Three friends find themselves at a ski resort. During the ascent to the mountain, the funicular suddenly stops. People get stuck at a great height and eventually realize that everyone just forgot about them. The descent is closed until next weekend, and friends have no opportunity to contact someone.
- Shallows, USA, 2016. Once on a wild beach in Baja California, Nancy Adams goes for a board ride. Suddenly, she is attacked by a large shark. Escaping on the carcass of a dead whale, the girl realizes that she simply cannot get to the shore alive and a terrible end awaits her.
- Deep Blue, USA, UK, 2017. Sisters Kate and Lisa go underwater in a cage to watch great white sharks. Suddenly, the cable breaks, the girls descend to a depth of 47 meters. They can’t swim up, and they only have enough oxygen for an hour.