“Waves” is a heartbreaking indie film starring Sterling K. Brown as Ronald, the overbearing father whose children break under the pressure of his demands and expectations. Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays Tyler, a high school senior, competing as a wrestler. When an injury threatens to ruin his high school career and jeopardize his college scholarship, it sets him on a path of destruction that upends both his own life and every one else in his family. The movie was directed and written by Trey Edward Shults.
The movie’s story line is a bit disjointed. It seems like the movie is really two short stories wrapped into one. It is a before and after of a devastating event that affects everyone involved.
The horrifying and tragic event that occurs is painful to watch and heartbreaking. Then the aftershocks ripple in the wake of the event seem to slowly roll out as waves of cause-and-effect as the family tries to recover and stay together as each party faces different stages of shock and grief and their own way of coping with what comes next.
I thought the movie did a fabulous job of spelling out the various ways of grief in a person’s life based on personality or the degree of proximity to the event. No one really comes out unscathed in the movie. It reminded me to some degree of “Crash” (2004), in the way that the different effects are all related and the pain experienced by the various parties.
It isn’t a “feelgood” movie, but I do think it is a very good movie that is worth your time if you are interested.