A charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score, makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.
Set against the vibrant landscape of South Florida, and featuring an astonishing ensemble of award-winning actors and breakouts alike, Waves traces the epic emotional journey of a suburban African-American family - led by a well-intentional but domineering father - as they navigate love, forgiveness and coming together in the aftermath of a loss. From acclaimed director Trey Edward Shults, Waves is a heartrending story about the universal capacity for compassion and growth even in the darkest of times.
Waves is one hell of a story, an emotionally draining tale about the crushing pressures on some teenagers and the fallout that can result from poor communication and lack of understanding between parents and their children.
It is also a wild sensory experience, particularly in the masterful use of music to encapsulate the characters' emotional state, in a way that will be familiar to anyone who was a music-lover in their teens - that heady, swirling intensity of sound that seems to speak only to you. At times it feels as though the soundtrack is ahead of the story, driving it forward.
Waves is deliberately a film in 2 halves, and if you're like me you'll be wondering where the hell it's going towards the end. Whilst the intensity builds relentlessly in the first half, the second is gentle and meandering. It's understandable why the story takes that direction (and it's a bold break with conventional storytelling) but, unfortunately, it makes watching to the end a bit of an endurance test - it just completely loses momentum.
However, I'd still highly recommend it. It is a confident and complex film exploring extremely relevant and important issues about modern family life. It is a deep exploration of the teenage (and particularly black American) experience.
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