Waves ★★★½

Trey Edward Shults' Waves is a film told mostly through visuals with Shults' unique and very fluid approach to said visuals giving off an elated sense of naturalism while setting much of the events depicted in the film to soundtrack; like freestyle lyrics set to a simple, heavy percussion that seem to flow at no calculated rate, but come from the depths of the soul Waves is poetry in that we truly feel the director's emotion and intention yet frustrating in that so much around what's being discussed seems to have been left on the cutting room floor. Though pure, in the most sincere of senses, the film itself-meaning the actual finished product-is never able to match the audacious ambitions Shults clearly has for it.

Still, going in cold is the best idea as Waves is best experienced when having no idea what it's up to or where it's going. Personally, I both loved and appreciated the themes about being at the crossroads of innocence and actual, real life experiences while being somewhat relieved at the message of "grace" that it expresses. Unabashedly experimental, Waves is unafraid to feel juvenile in an effort to try different things-both technically and philosophically-and while every experiment is not a success it’s easy to see that with Waves, more than any of his previous work, Shults is attempting to shape a kind of base to build his future films off of. One day Shults will undoubtedly perfect this style he's carving away at and I can't wait to see how that turns out.