Every so often we are given a movie that provides not only beautiful visuals and good writing but also a thought-provoking plot. At first glance, The Wave is a dark comedy about an average Joe, Frank (Justin Long), stuck in a routine life while under the oppression of his wife. On the brink of getting a promotion, Frank goes out to celebrate with his party animal friend and coworker, Jeff. It is then when he meets Theresa and his life goes on a drug-induced psychedelic time lapse. A lighthearted atmosphere and a humorous script are the surface persona of this film, but if you look beyond the tip of the iceberg the underlying message becomes apparent.
Gille Klabin’s The Wave might come off as a generic comedy with sci-fi fundamentals, but as the minutes roll by the quirkier and the more charming it becomes. As unrealistic the story, it’s relatable. Frank is an average American citizen. Between his marriage and his work, Frank is nothing but just another cog in the machine. His work has drained his life and his wife has drained his bank account. All while his corporate duties have drained people’s assets. Unaware of his current stance in life, he moves forward without making any changes—until the universe finds a way to change it for him. No matter where we stand in our lives today, at one point we have all been in Frank’s shoes, and that’s what makes him a relatable character.
Written by Carl W. Lucas, The Wave takes a simple plot and message and spews out something original and memorable. With eye-catching visuals and a unique style of filming, it is safe to say aesthetically this movie has it all.
Justin Long as Frank is a northern star, guiding the entire story forward. There is a lot of character development with him going from a clueless guy getting by to a guy that must discover his purpose in the universe. Sheila Vand as Theresa is pleasant to watch. Her role is minimal yet unforgettable. The cast at entirety does a fantastic job, but it’s hard to miss that mark when you have such great talent.
Regardless of trying a bit too hard at times with the script and story, The Wave is fun and delightful with sporadic laugh-out-loud moments. With a simple yet heartwarming message, this one will stick for at least a few days. For the first half, it might appear that the story is not headed anywhere, and that this is another bro-comedy. Trust the story and its slow and gradual unraveling. It will make perfect sense with its oddly exhilarating yet fucked up ending. This is definitely one of those where the more you think about it the more you realize its value and appeal.
The Wave is currently circling through festivals.