The Drifters – Film review

★★★★

Written and Directed by: #BenBond

Starring: #JonathanAjayi, #LucieBourdeu, #JonjoONeill, #TomSweet and #JoeyAkubeze

Film review by: Brian Penn


When two lost souls find each other we trust fate will see them through the rough patches. However, life is rarely that simple as this beautifully shot film by Ben Bond proves.


Koffee (Jonathan Ajayi) is an African immigrant fighting to stay in the country. He works long hours in a car wash but the drudgery is broken by regular English classes. There he meets the beguiling Fanny (Lucie Bourdeu) a native Parisienne who works as a waitress. They share emotional baggage and soon become an item. Koffee's boss Doog (Joey Akubeze) has promised him a passport if he does one last job.


That job goes spectacularly wrong and Doog is not best pleased. Koffee takes flight with Fanny as they head for the coast. They land on a beach like castaways and begin to enjoy an endless summer. The couple make friends with local fisherman Chris (Jonjo O’Neill) and his son Leon (Tom Sweet); and instantly find common ground as fellow drifters searching for a direction in life. But deep down inside, Koffee and Fanny know their past will catch up with them. The charmless Doog has used his powers of persuasion to track them down and shatter an idealic existence.


The Drifters finds its voice with a perfectly judged narrative, gently teasing out the characters' back story. The Devon coast has never looked finer, and provides the perfect landscape for a tale told with disarming honesty. Bond knows his film history and there are subtle nods to his influences that will keep film buffs happy for hours. Jonathan Ajayi is a charismatic male lead, but is topped by Lucie Bourdeu who holds every frame with an almost mesmerising precision. This is highly articulate film making that takes time to build characters without breakneck visuals and rushed dialogue; an absolute treat.