Waves ★★★★½

Films Watched in 2020 - Film 369
Recommend Me a Film - Film 2/41, recommended by Perry Cononge
100 Movies I Want to Watch in 2020 - Film 80/100
A24 Ranked
2019 Films Ranked

This finally came out in cinemas here and I couldn’t wait to go see it. Waves absolutely blew me away and part of the reason it took me so long to write this review (it’s now about a month and a half later), is because there was so much to say and I was honestly pretty overwhelmed. Also, this is my first review in a while, let alone one this long so please cut me a bit of slack if things aren’t expressed super well.

Waves is vulnerable to its very core, but also so volatile and angry, I’ve never seen a movie hit both ends of the spectrum so fully. It’s passionate in both the most tender but also the most aggressive forms.

The ensemble cast is amazing and I can’t believe they didn’t get more hype around awards season last year. I can definitely see how this movie may be divisive in some elements but it’s hard for me to see how someone could walk out of Waves not thinking the cast was incredible. Every single member seemed to have their moment(s) to shine and they complimented each other super well.

This was the first film I’ve seen from Trey Edward Shults as his movies are pretty hard to track down in Australia. I know that his previous two works were horror and it was really interesting to me to see some horror elements come through in this movie even though it definitely wasn’t a horror film in itself. I’m not sure if that makes sense but there were some shots that were really graphic and gross and seemed like they belonged in a different type of film. I think more movies should be more flexible with genre like that, just incorporating different elements here and there.

It’s hard not to mention the soundtrack to Waves. I’m definitely the target audience for the music as a teenager going through my basic Kanye/Chance phase. Feel free to make fun of me but I do kinda love that it’s so stereotypical as whenever I watch this film in years to come (and I do believe that I will), the music will be able to take me right back to the time in my life when I was first able to experience it, which I think is pretty cool.

From a visual and storytelling perspective, this thing is jaw dropping. The different tones are beautiful and I love the binaries created in the different points of the stories. The themes of nature, religion and family were incredibly well-handled and it felt so genuine. It’s definitely hard to handle an epic like this, but I think Waves, and everyone involved, managed to pull it off.

I don’t know if Shults’ other films will live up to this but I’m definitely ready to give them a try after this. I think I’d need one more watch to decide if I should give this the perfect 5/5 rating, but it definitely got super close.

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