Film Review : Abandoned

abandoned

Time to make another mistake with a panicked crew

Abandoned (aka Stranded in the UK) tells the true story of 4 men that survived 119 days in an overturned trimaran. It’s a fascinating story of survival both physically and mentally and this gives unique insight through the mind of one of the survivors.

Release Date : 2015

Running Time : 86 minutes

Premise

A reflective look back at 119 days lost at sea and what that does to you afterwards.

The Disasters Faced

A rogue wave, drowning, starvation, mental breakdown, attacks from wildlife and attacks from your own crew as they fall apart around you. Oh – and sharks.

The Execution

The film focuses on Rose Noelle’s owner John whose spent his life as a nomad on the sea. He is slightly unhinged and has a bit of a reverse God complex about him stating that he knows they’ll be saved. Of his three crew-mates one is matter of fact and the kind of guy you could count on, another starts off a complete mess but grows into his own over time and the third gets increasingly confrontational and desperate to try anything. As its seen through the eyes of John, some of these more intricate moments are somewhat gleaned over in the films quick run time but they make a great quartet at odds with each other. If you read the description you know that they survive but its fascinating to work out and see how – and the film tries to be quite matter of fact and underplayed – leaving the actors to work their magic in the arguments instead of the overwrought survival pieces.

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The Rose Noelle is as much a character as the people on board

The Effects

The rogue wave happens immediately and is decent, as is the set afterwards that’s permanently flooded. What the film does do is give a perfect sense of claustrophobia as they are all stuck in a compartment in the boat. The sea itself is beautiful though.

Why It’s Worth Watching

Abandoned doesn’t bother with mellow drama  or subplots. These men are so wound up by each other that actually its about the journey of them beginning to work as a team that’s the important thread. Aside from the main plot and the family trying to find them and getting nowhere fast, there’s a really interesting part at the end where the ordeal has come to an end and John seems almost sad that it has ended. I’m not sure if its survivors guilt – but it’s a quite unique take and perspective on not feeling alive anymore and a quietly sombre close to the movie. Add to that its well shot, well acted and wonderfully character driven – you’ve got a decent film on your hands.

Drinking Game

MANLY HORMONES RAGE! So many arguments!

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Ying and yang. I know who’d I want on my boat!

Favourite Character

Jim (Dominic Purcell) is literally the only one of the four that seemed sane, grounded and calm in a crisis as I think someone saying God had me sorted out would probably worry me more than the sharks would!

Weirdest Moment

It’s not weird but ironic. They end up washed up on Great Barrier Island which is about 50 miles from New Zealand. They just went round in a circle!

Random Trivia

The year the film released (2015) Phil passed away in real life with a heart attack. Just two of the crew currently still live from their ordeal in 1989.

Conclusion

A film that could have been better with a shifted pace and tone, and maybe a little more time spent with all 4 crewmen, Abandoned is still a decent film that shows some great survival nous and how mentally damaged humans can be after a disaster.

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