There are some people in life who you appreciate are just hugely talented individuals. And then there are a handful who take it too far, by being so talented they just make you sick. Just like Cynthia Erivo.

This uber talented Brit from London has starred on Broadway, released an album, made various TV appearances, as well as film, which has seen her pick up a Tony, Emmy and Grammy, as well as two Oscar nominations. So yes, she’s sickingly talented.

And for her latest role, it’s about as far away from making a song and dance as you can possibly get.

boom reviews Drift
I really would have preferred the Pedalo...

People turn to travelling for all sorts of reasons, including just simply seeing the sights, to finding themselves. For Jacqueline (Erivo), she’s doing so as a means of running away from her past, but even on a sunny Greek island, there’s no hiding from it.

She finds herself in a desperate situation, with no money, no place stay, and on her own. She encounters a tour guide, American Callie (Alia Shawkat), who befriends her, but Jacqueline finds it difficult to let anyone get close to her when she’s haunted so deeply by her past.

boom reviews Drift
I wouldn't sit there if I were you, a goat just pissed there.

This marks the first English language film for Singaporean director Anthony Chen, but it works to his advantage with a script that doesn’t have much in the way of dialogue. It carries a fair amount of emotional baggage however.

Based on the novel A Marker to Measure Drift by Alexander Masik, who also co-wrote the screenplay, it’s a film that spirals into some murky emotional depths, that despite its sunny locale, offers very little in the way of light.

Erivo is superb as the vulnerable Jacqueline, whose scars, both mental and physical, mean that she has major trust issues. It’s only through flashbacks that we understand why. It’s through these flashbacks that we learn of the trauma that she’s gone through, which validates her fragility throughout. She confirms what her accolades and audiences already knew, that her talent truly knows no bounds.

Don’t be surprised if you’re overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness the longer the film goes on, as you’re keen for her to find a safe place of sorts.

The arrival of Callie then is a welcome one, as a sense of respite arrives; it then feels a little like a Lassie film, with Jacqueline so damaged that she’s weary to trust anyone, even the friendly Callie.

Although the two central performances are touching, there’s no getting away from the fact that Chen’s film is hard work emotionally, proving to be quite harrowing in places, and is about as far away as a feel good film as can be.

And yet, if you stick with it, and you probably will after investing so heavily emotionally, Chen rewards his audience for their patience, however briefly, with just enough to make this particular Greek tragedy worthwhile.

we give this three out of five