• Year:2012
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Ben Nott, Morgan O'Neill
  • Cast:Lesley-Ann Brandt, Xavier Samuel, Sam Worthington
  • Release Date:May 02, 2013
  • Distributor:Hopscotch/eOne
  • Running time:113 minutes
  • Film Worth:$17.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Exquisitely shot and warmly crafted, this is the rare local flick that tackles one of our sporting pastimes – and successfully.

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Surfing is practically Australia’s national pastime, but as with most of our sporting pursuits, you could count the feature films made about the subject on one hand. There’s Puberty Blues, Summer City, Newcastle, and a fistful of other flicks, but surfing’s one-time outlaw status seems to have extended to its cinematic currency in this country too. This, of course, hurls the new surfing drama, Drift, into somewhat treacherous and uncharted waters. Predicting which Aussie films will swamp the box office is near impossible, but in terms of quality, this honest, heartfelt flick well and truly keeps its head above water.

It’s the rough-and-rugged seventies, and gently conflicting brothers, Andy (Myles Pollard) and Jimmy (Xavier Samuel), have long staked their claim – along with their single mum, Kat (Robyn Malcolm) – on the rugged Western Australian coast. Though both keen surfers, older Andy is the more sensible of the two, while Jimmy is more into chasing girls, lazing around, and getting bleary-eyed. They join forces, however, to kick-start an innovative surfing gear company, but their near-immediate success soon finds them circled by sharks in the form of a local crime syndicate led by the menacing Miller (Steve Bastoni).

Exquisitely shot by Geoffrey Hall (Red Dog, Chopper), and well-paced by co-directors, Morgan O’Neill and Ben Nott, Drift beautifully evokes Australian surfing’s era of innocence, before it was corporatised completely. The guts of the story, however (despite Sam Worthington’s much ballyhooed supporting role as a hippie surf photographer), can be found in the relationship of Andy and Jimmy. Well performed by the engaging Pollard and Samuel, their tense bond gives the rollicking, highly enjoyable Drift a narrative quintessence that makes it much more than just a surfing flick.       

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