Cinematic Releases: Life Comes Crashing - Waves (2019) - Reviewed

It's not often that a movie can shake the soul to its inner core. Perhaps once in a decade, a film will come along that not only transcends the standard box office fare to become a picture perfect reflection on our existence but will hit all the little details and nerves that may have caused strife in our personal lives. There's a bit of authenticity here for everyone watching. Despite all its desperation and sadness, Waves buries sentimentality below a layer of pure truth. Reality does come in cold waves. 

Director Trey Edward Shults has a special eye for treading the fine line between dynamism and literal realism transposed to the screen. This latest project, despite its mildly extensive runtime, is a look through the eyes of one family as they desperately seek to find normalcy among the ruins of their tragic lives. Waves is not an easy pill to swallow while it grinds its audience through bad situation after bad situation. Personally, halfway through the second act, I had enough. The complete lack of escapism paired with Shults flair for running us through the ringer began to take an emotional toll. It's not that there's anything wrong with the movie. In fact, it's the complete opposite. This hits so close to the narratives we see splashed on the news and social media everyday, that my mind just wanted to tune it out. 

Waves also finds a focus on letting us know that we must find a way to survive all the wreckage. Each character on screen is bursting at the seams with distress and loss, but Shults, under a skillful charge, directs us to find some solace in their tragedy. These are such powerful, everyday characters that somehow seek peace in a world that's truly ravaged them. But they see the light. They know that everything will be alright if they stick together.

Featuring an outstanding cast that carries the brunt weight of what should have been a fully melancholy affair, Waves uses a wonderful color palette as the ups and downs of life take the front seat. Instead of breaking down this entire cast with a list of their performances (they're all phenomenal), it almost seems better suited to suggest getting out to see this movie if it's available in your area. All the actors paired with a third time feature director makes for one of the best features of the year If by chance this gets no nominations come award season, we'd be shocked. 

2019 has been a spectacular year for directors creating on screen stories that not only entertain us but cause us to question everything we know due to the amazing humanity we're experiencing on screen. Waves is one of those special movies that forces an inward look at how we react in awful situations and how quickly our lives can be changed in the blink of an eye. It also asks us to watch with a careful speculation as we consider how we might react when backed into a corner. This is a must see movie. Just know that it may take a toll. 

-Chris George