reibureibu’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is tough and going to be very different from how I normally write reviews. Ignoring the questionable usage of race without exploring it in a meaningful way and without diving into its odd if bold structural decisions, I truly don't know if there's a fair way for me to accurately rate a movie like Waves because it just doesn't really feel like a movie to me.
(And this is definitely a very presumptuous statement on my part, so I welcome those who say otherwise and I'm fully willing to say that Waves was actually ahead of its time and foretelling a new era of film-making that I was simply too small-minded to accept.)
The biggest thing is in how disparate the film feels (I'd say messy but that might be too harsh): some shots feel like a sort of cruise line advertisement or a travelogue video intro, others feel like a publicly-sponsored warning against drunk driving that'll display a "Do you know where your children are?" at any point, others feel like a fan-made music video entered into a competition by The Chainsmokers, and others feel like a Tidal ad that never stops once it starts.
I guess the best way to explain it is that the movie feels like an amalgamation of all the default templates you can choose on a website builder or new blog account, complete with all the tilt-shift bokeh and colorful Apple-esque gradient aesthetic and overlaid with the perfect Instagram / VSCO photo filters on top. Don't forget your Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, etc. songs to put on autoplay so all your website visitors get annoyed as they instantly try to find the pause button.
Am I being sold something? Is this all a commercial? Why do I feel obligated to take out my credit card? Don't the trailers stop after twenty minutes, or am I simply observing a very long one? I already paid for the movie ticket, do they want me to buy something else?
Again I honestly don't like nor dislike this movie, and that's because I just can't really call it that. It's more akin to getting upset over an ad in the middle of your podcast. Oh wait, that reminds me, it's time for a message from one of my sponsors:
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