Hayden Welch’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Love forgets wrong.”
This should work so well for me. It’s about people my age so singularly in my time with Amy Winehouse, Kanye, Radiohead, and Kendrick etc.; knowing me you also know my deep love and appreciation for the coming-of-age sub-genre. That being said it fundamentally didn’t. The aforementioned soundtrack is utilized horribly other than Backstreet Freestyle and Love is a Losing Game. The impressive style masks the more deep issues rooted into the script and character writing.
I want to reiterate how excited I was for Waves as it was one of the most anticipated of the year for me and how much this pains me. There’s a clear love and talent here but it could have been utilized in a more superfluous way; over-sensationalizing every plot beat makes for an exhausting feature with a lack of build-up this is Screenwriting 101. This feels more like an excellent collection of demo reels rather that complete and focused work. This point is what makes Waves such a tragedy; the amount of love and talent misrepresented within this lackluster narrative.
The themes of the picture are most definitely one of the more strong point conceptually. I love the way a lot of the themes are developed but there are just so many broad topics that they often get lost in the wave of other points the film is trying to make.
It’s extremely interesting that Schult’s previous film, Krisha — mind you I have not seen It Comes at Night yet — is so strong in its singular narrative yet is very stylistically barebones; the exact opposite of Waves — and better for it — which is why this is so surprising.