Abbey’s review published on Letterboxd:
this is what i wrote in my phone notes at 12.56am, half an hour after i finished watching this movie:
just finished the movie waves and i feel at a loss. no words only tears, no sound only shaky breaths
i feel so vulnerable and i feel so raw and i feel like i want to text my brother telling him i miss him and want to be friends and be close to my family
i really don’t know what to write. i am at a complete loss. this was absolutely beautiful and my friend ashleigh explained her post-viewing feelings so wonderfully and it’s amazing when you can share a connection or even a thought with someone merely through a piece of art,?of which both of you had nothing to do with creating.
beautiful cinematography. the aspect ratio change was used wonderfully. claustrophobia consumes the viewer as we watch the heartbreak and anger overcome the characters, and the close camera is unrelenting and evil. the change towards the end was relieving and comforting and as if taking a deep breath of fresh air. the light flares were also gorgeous and a quiet addition to the over sensation of feelings coursing through your body.
the second half is better than the first, i contemplated rating this an 8 due to the messiness the film sometimes dwells in, but the beautiful serenity and aching pain of forgiveness, hurt, confusion and isolation is so brilliantly captured, i needed to give it a 9. after it finished i fell asleep crying and thinking of my own family, and the emotional distance between us all. i definitely think this is the kind of movie to settle with some, while others don’t connect, can’t relate, or even just don’t like. kind of similar to the jarring difference between the moods and editing style of act one and two. this could be seen as a flaw, and while it may well be, i think it works in the films favour as a sudden and unpredicted occurrence that cannot be prevented.
also brilliant, sublte performances by taylor russel, kelvin harrison, renée elise goldsberry and lucas hedges. russel and hedges have beautiful chemistry and the quiet nature of their characters was a wonderful story to watch unfold. harrison delivers a great performance, particularly as the characterisation of tyler wasn’t great. his seemingly soft nature, deep caring and emotional reliance on his girlfriend seemed to majorly differ to how aggressive he was to her both in the car and over text. also kind of wish we saw emily visit tyler at the end.
there is so much more to write and so many key scenes that haunt and sadden and pierce right through your heart. upon rewatch, i know i will feel them just the same, if not more. i cannot wait to focus on different characters and feelings, and let the waves take me under.
just a beautiful film. can’t wait to watch again and again and again. the feeling after it finished was both happy and sad and desperate and lonely. love