Drift ‘surfs’ up mem­o­ries

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

AN au­then­tic cel­e­bra­tion of Aussie surf cul­ture in the 1970s, Drift is an en­joy­able home­grown tale where, as a bonus, you can also see Sam Wor­thing­ton play a hip­pie.

Set in West Aus­tralia, Xavier Sa­muel stars as young mav­er­ick surfer Jimmy Kelly, while Myles Pol­lard ( McLeod’s Daugh­ters) plays his older brother, Andy.

Based on the be­gin­nings of sur­fwear com­pa­nies such as Bil­l­abong and Rip Curl, Drift fol­lows the surfers as they try to turn a back­yard pas­sion pro­ject into the real deal.

It’s an in­ter­est­ing ap­proach to a sports movie and it works, as the guys face money trou­bles, drugs, crim­i­nals and their own ri­valry. Even bet­ter, over-thetop Aussie stereo­types are left at the door, save for a cou­ple of men­ac­ing bikies. In­stead, th­ese char­ac­ters and the 70s time pe­riod feel very real.

Part of that is thanks to the per­for­mances, but it’s also the script from writer and codi­rec­tor Mor­gan O’Neill.

With lar­rikin wise­cracks about hav­ing your head up your arse, the hu­mour is au­then­ti­cally Aussie and never veers into cheap laughs or slap­stick.

Par­tic­u­larly en­ter­tain­ing is Andy and Jimmy’s com­pet­i­tive rib­bing – which gains in­ten­sity when Hawai­ian girl Lani (Les­ley-Ann Brandt) ar­rives on the scene. She ap­pears aboard a rain­bow bus driven by Wor­thing­ton’s fun, chilled-out surf pho­tog­ra­pher JB.

The ten­sion sets up fric­tion be­tween the broth­ers, al­though it never gives a big pay­off. Some loose threads are left un­re­solved and the drama in their re­la­tion­ship isn’t mined as much as it could have been.

How­ever, the pair are fan­tas­tic on screen to­gether – their chem­istry and ban­ter mak­ing them be­liev­able.

Clock­ing in at nearly two hours, Drift does run for too

Drift opens to­day. long and oc­ca­sion­ally drags. Still, the film’s co-di­rec­tors have found a nice bal­ance be­tween the surf­ing and fam­ily drama, with O’Neill tack­ling the re­la­tion­ships and Ben Nott shoot­ing the ac­tion – and those waves!

With daz­zling shots of big breaks and surfers carv­ing up the ocean, Drift shows off the WA coast ex­cep­tion­ally.

The wipe­outs are just as bru­tal. It’s hard not to wince as surfers are flung into the air or hit rocks with a crack.

As al­ways with films and TV se­ries from this era, the sound­track is rip­per, with golden oldies like Cree­dence Clear­wa­ter Re­vival’s Run Through the Jun­gle.

Drift is a nice, home-grown film that’s not per­fect but is en­ter­tain­ing, re­gard­less of whether you’re a surfer or not.

– CARIS BIZZACA

Drift.

Broth­ers Andy (Myles Pol­lard, left) and Jimmy Kelly (Xavier Sa­muel, cen­tre) and friend Gus (Aaron Gle­nane) in a scene from

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