“Waves” could also just as accurately be called “Ripples.” It’s about how a series of compounding horrible decisions can ultimately impact good ones. Trey Edward Shults has written and directed an empathetic commentary on human nature’s interconnectivity—a film filled with great, almost unimaginable pain and incredible beauty.
Centered on an African-American family living in South Florida, Waves is also examining parental pressure and the limitations of parental love—how finding communication between parent and child, and allowing vulnerability to be expressed on both sides, is essential to the survival of both.
“My mom used to say, ‘I have to be hard on you, so the world is not harder on you,’” says Sterling K. Brown, who plays the stern and uncompromising patriarch Ronald Williams. “That’s Ronald’s initial approach with his son, thinking he can’t have him going out in the world looking like a fool.
“Waves” takes you on a journey where the ending is unknown, and no two places are alike. It’s two movies in one really, first the journey of Tyler, Kelvin Harrison, Jr and then the journey of discovering Emily, Taylor Russell. All the while, other complexed voices are rippled in between.
Once you think you’ve gotten the hang of the pattern it wipes you out again.
“Waves” is a lot to unpack and will leave you in much thought. You can honestly see yourself in either of the characters and will find empathy in them all.
“In select theaters now. Everywhere December 6th