Drift ‘surfs’ up memories
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
Brothers Andy (Myles Pollard, left) and Jimmy Kelly (Xavier Samuel, centre) and friend Gus (Aaron Glenane) in a scene from