Between the waves | Movie Review – The Next One
Between the waves | Film critic
September 20, 2021
It is difficult to criticize ambition, even when it is not quite fulfilled. Between the waves attempts to be both a portrait of mourning and an introspective philosophical science fiction drama. It isn’t entirely successful with either, but it is a noble endeavor.
Jamie (Fiona Graham) is a photographer from Toronto, slowly reeling over the disappearance of her boyfriend Issac (Luke Robinson). She spots Isaac, even after his body has been found. Are these observations a manifestation of his mourning? A benzodiazepine-induced hallucination? Or maybe Isaac’s work to establish the existence of parallel universes paid off? For reasons that are never satisfactorily explained, Jamie has to take a trip to the Azores to find out.
Between the waves has a tendency to betray its low budget, with unflattering lighting and color grading, inducing the unfortunate and recurring thought that many scenes would have benefited from just one or two takes. The dialogue spans the gamut of superficial, soap opera-riddled exchanges that are dangerously close to unintentionally funny. It seems Fiona lives with an endless cavalcade of traumatic flashbacks, often waking up from a nightmare or hallucination with a terrified gasp of the kind that only exists on screen.
The science of the film’s multiverse theory seems to have been formulated with about 30 seconds of Wikipedia research, and yet the actors deliver their awkward remarks with such conviction that the suspension of disbelief is maintained, albeit often barely.
The tearful tone throughout does the production a disservice, and there’s one revealing without unnecessary grace later in the story that attempts to rationalize Jamie’s behavior. Despite its faltering approach and the fact that its reach exceeds its hold, Between the waves is undoubtedly ambitious, and even challenging in an undemanding way. The best marks for the effort, even if the execution is imperfect.
Between the waves is published digitally on demand on 20e September 2021.
Watch the trailer for Between the waves here: