A collection of reviews of films from off the beaten path; a travel guide for those who love the cinematic world and want more than the mainstream releases.
Monday, January 13, 2020
The Wave Film Review - Feat. Justin Long and Donald Faison
Frank (Justin Long) has been searching for his big break at the firm for six years. When the day finally arrives he just wants to get a good nights sleep to prepare for his presentation the next morning. Friend and colleague Jeff (Donald Faison) insists they head out of town to celebrate. The duo runs into trouble when Frank is given a hallucinogen that alters his perception of reality. Their lives will be forever changed in Gille Klabin’s The Wave.
I was blown away by how creative this film is. It’s purposely misleading which I think is a brilliant concept. The movie is filmed in a way where it seems cut and dry but then the action takes over. Once Frank realizes the substance he was given is taking effect is where things really take off. There is a scene where Frank is brushing his teeth and it is shot so flawlessly. There was no disconnect in the first reveal which makes the story that much more believable.
There is so much that goes on in this film that in any other setting I think it would be too much. A film that is this ambitious requires a certain amount of skill, patience, and an eye for detail. The Wave includes all of these and more which is why I was impressed with it. The writing, directing, and acting are all top notch. It was both fascinating and entertaining to watch Frank react to both reality and the world he was seeing due to hallucinations. Those scenes were done in a way where they felt realistic rather than cheesy or over the top. I found myself being somewhat sympathetic to Franks situation. On one hand, you shouldn’t take drugs. Especially from strangers. On the other hand, it’s clear to me that Frank doesn’t exactly make the best decisions. Especially under pressure.
Sheila Vand plays Theresa. Although she’s a secondary character her existence is pretty important to the story. While in his “medicated” state Frank sees Theresa and tells her all about the man he wants to be. It’s clear that the man he is isn’t who he wishes to be. This reveal is something that is relatable to all of us. No matter how ideal our lives may be there is always something we wish we could change. Wish we could do better. I loved how this scene took a movie about an altered reality and turned it into something that is prevalent in the real world. It makes Frank a relatable character which I was very fond of.
Justin Long and Donald Faison have such great on screen chemistry. I love Justin’s ability to become his character so effortlessly. He does a great job at portraying the every day Joe with the 9 - 5 job. That is not something all actors are capable of because it becomes stale over time. He has mastered it in a way where it’s enjoyable in any setting. The Wave is no exception to this. I have yet to see a Justin Long Film that I didn’t like. Donald has played a variety of different characters throughout his career and this is a role I really enjoyed him in.
Overall this film was great. The characters felt so real that I connected with them in a way. This is rare for me and I don’t take this experience lightly. If you’re a fan of Justin Long and or films about altered reality I would definitely give The Wave a watch. I give this movie a 10/10 easily. It was a very enjoyable experience. The film comes out in select theaters and on nationwide VOD on January 17th. I applaud Director Gille Klabin and Writer Carl W. Lucas for their brilliant work and look forward to viewing future projects.