The Rarest Pearl
Waves is a legendary tour de force that gives new meaning to the word hope. Waves follows the inner journey of a broken family as they navigate endearment, clemency and converging in the wake of a fatal mistake. Waves is divided into two parts, the first being everything before the fatal mistake, the second being everything after.
Waves has an exhilarating cast that includes the natural talents of Kevin Harrison Jr., Alexa Demie, Sterling K. Brown, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Taylor Russell, and Lucas Hedges. Every actor in Waves gave a beautiful and sacred performance. Yet, while Taylor Russell’s performance as Emily Williams (The black sheep of the family) is not a leading role, Waves is forever in her debt. We get to know Emily very slowly for the first half of Waves. There's something about her that you know is important but she's like a shadow. She's comfortable on the sidelines and is pushed to center stage when her world falls apart.
There comes a point where everything is destroyed for everyone and Russell's portrayal of life-changing shock will emotionally murder you. Emily's mouth is open just a little. She's trying to explain what happened and she physically can't. She can't even stutter or even close her mouth even if it started to drool. It's like that feeling when your foot falls asleep only it's your whole body.
Emily completely shuts down after. The social media posts she gets eventually become too unbearable. She deletes them and walks around her school hallways wearing headphones and looking down. She's become a cliche. The cliche of that withdrawn loner who lives underneath a glass dome of human suffering. The promising young girl everyone used to know but now stays away from. Someone going through their own affliction soon comes into Emily's life and she slowly starts to crawl her way back to becoming a more confident version of whom she used to be.
I believe Waves got its title from Emily. Emily is a metaphor for Waves. Waves move within an ocean. Waves endure great suffering in storms but they also experience empowerment. Imagine the brilliance of waves in sunny Hawaii. Some waves don't immediately crash onto the shores, you see them rising up before they rush towards the sand. Waves are beautiful, powerful, immortal beings. Emily IS a wave. Emily IS the ocean. The way she suffers, it's as though someone is littering her with plastic or empty soda cans and pouring bleach, oils or other harmful chemicals into her essence. There's a scene where she's riding her bike on an empty street. The sun is shining and it's so warm out but not to the point where you are drenched in sweat. She closes her eyes and peacefully exhales. That symbolizes a wave crashing onto the shore.
The cinematography is so beautiful that it won't blind you but make your eyes water to the point they slide out of your sockets. Florida's purple sunsets and blue lighting of house parties are prime examples of this. Waves crash onto beaches generally speaking but it's very rare to find one with a pearl. Trey Edward Shults has brought audiences the rarest pearl of all. One that inhales the air of suburban tragedy and breathes it into unforgettable art. Waves is a timeless masterpiece and an instant classic. It's one of 2019’s most inspiring and powerful accomplishments. Waves was made for angels: People who understand the gravity of suffering, the complexity of forgiveness, the power of kindness and the beauty of love.