I discovered, via one of Taylor Steele’s “tweets,” that The Drifter is now available on iTunes. Paying $10 seemed like a much better idea than paying $30, or whatever exorbitant amount it costs to purchase the actual DVD, so I impatiently pretended to read while waiting for it to download. Then I settled in for the long haul (yeah, 57 minutes) with a bowl of soup and clicked play.
Halfway through, despite the phenomenal cinematography, I found myself getting antsy. I wondered if Rob, who shirks all responsibilities and severs ties in the name of cutting loose, as they say, will ever begin to enjoy his trip, which most surfers will only ever dream of taking.
“High expectations make poor travel companions,” he says at one point, and while it may be a clever one-liner, it also seems to say, pretty clearly, that he’s miserable in paradise.
Rob Machado is undoubtedly a beautiful surfer, but a few too many melodramatic shots of him not smiling is enough to bring anyone down. I thought this was going to be carefree?
The end becomes a little bit more upbeat, thankfully, when Machado befriends local villagers and the jungle heat finally melts his intense exterior so that his inner human (-itarian) can come out and play with the kids.
I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it; The Drifter is a well-crafted glimpse into the life of our most beloved afro-endowed barreller (no, that’s not a real word). I’m just letting you know that it is weirdly intense (read: depressing) at times. Does a happy ending conquer all?