The Wave takes us on a trippy, surreal journey through a fractured timeline
An ethically challenged insurance coverage lawyer finds himself on a unhealthy hallucinogenic journey that makes him query the character of his actuality, in first-time Director Gille Klabin‘s psychedelic sci-fi thriller, The Wave.
(Some spoilers beneath.)
Frank (Justin Long, Galaxy Quest, New Girl) is a lawyer for an insurance coverage firm who finds an error in a life insurance coverage declare kind for a deceased firefighter that can enable his agency to disclaim the declare outright. The firm will save $four million, which might put Frank on the fast-track for a promotion. And he appears untroubled by any hardship this denial of declare will trigger the fireman’s widow and kids. His co-worker Jeff (Donald Faison, Scrubs, Ray Donovan) talks him into a night time on the city to have fun (“It’s Tuesday, Booze Day!”). And that is the place issues begin to go horribly fallacious for Frank.
The guys decide up BFFs Natalie (Katia Winter, Sleepy Hollow) and Theresa (Sheila Vand, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) in a dive bar, and the 4 find yourself at an after-hours get together. That’s the place Frank and Theresa meet the decidedly unusual Aeolus (Tommy Flanagan, Sons of Anarchy), who gives them each a anonymous experimental hallucinogenic drug. Against his higher judgment, Frank takes it. “It’s supposed to hit you like a wave,” Aeolus assures him—and all of a sudden Frank finds himself alone in the home, hours later, surrounded by detritus from the get together with no pockets.
Convinced he was drugged and robbed, Frank spends the remainder of the movie making an attempt to piece collectively what occurred to him that night time—a activity made harder by his continued hallucinations, lengthy after any drug he’d taken ought to have worn off. The side-effects embody numerous unpredictable time jumps. In desperation, Frank turns to Jeff for assist, and the 2 be a part of up with Natalie to seek out Theresa, who’s lacking. And then issues begin to get actually loopy.
There’s an general theme of karmic justice, of restoring steadiness to the universe by sending Frank on this mind-bending journey. “You’re almost there,” Aeolus assures him towards the tip of the movie. “The universe is trying to tell you something.” And the fractured timeline mirrors the fracturing of Frank’s fastidiously structured however unsatisfying life earlier than that fateful get together, resulting in a sort of private enlightenment.
The movie debuted final 12 months at Fantastic Fest, to largely optimistic opinions. There are components of After Hours (1985) and Jacob’s Ladder (the 1990 unique, not final 12 months’s remake) to this unusual, participating movie, however Klabin succeeds in placing his personal stylistic stamp on it. Having the viewers expertise what Frank is experiencing, skipping round in a fractured timeline making an attempt to uncover the reality about what occurred to him, is a part of what makes this movie so fascinating and interesting. But it additionally makes the plot a bit incoherent and exhausting to comply with, notably within the second act.
Fortunately, the items all begin to come collectively within the third act, though I would not say all of it turns into crystal clear. It’s by no means fairly clear what occurred to Theresa, for example, or whether or not Justin’s reminiscence of Theresa is even the identical girl. (She definitely options prominently in his weird visions, set in a jewel-toned alternate dimension.) That mentioned, I very very similar to the movie’s insistence that “you can’t change what’s already happened.” Whatever Frank uncovers in his surreal journey, there isn’t any risk of a do-over. But he has discovered one essential lesson: “Time is a far more relative concept than I thought.”
Listing picture by Echo Wolf Productions