Watch Waves (2019) for its Psychological and Emotional Insights


Free seats in movie theater photo, public domain leisure CC0 image.

J Santiago Smith-Jordan

The emotion-capturing film production and heavy psychological topics presented in the movie Waves (2019) have made it one of the best movies within the last 3 years. 

Not only was the movie popular when it came out, but recently because of TikTok, the movie has grown even more in popularity. The movie includes music from several popular artists like Frank Ocean and H.E.R., as well as realistic teenage life experiences.

The movie consists of a perfectly normal-looking family, a jock-like son with a beautiful girlfriend, an introverted daughter searching for herself, a strict yet loving father, and lastly an overprotective mother. 

The son, Tyler Williams, played by Kelvin Harrison, starts the movie off going to parties, taking drugs, hanging out with his girlfriend, and mostly working on himself for wrestling. However, he is met with two overbearing obstacles: impregnating his girlfriend and having a severe shoulder injury. 

The problem with these is that his girlfriend doesn’t want an abortion and he may have to stop wrestling for a very long time. Both of which he believes will ruin his life in the long run. On top of this, he continues to make mistakes driven by his anger up until he accidentally murders his girlfriend. 

This crime creates a deep separation within the rest of his family because Tyler is given life in prison. The mother, Catherine Williams, played by Renée Elise Goldsberry, can no longer look at her husband, Ronald Williams, played by Sterling K. Brown, because of how he pushed Tyler. The daughter, Emily Williams, played by Taylor Russell, separates herself from society after being sent several death threats because of what Tyler did. 

The rest of the movie the family processes what happens and they slowly learn that life will continue to move on with or without Tyler. Similarly, the movie Interstellar applies this idea at the end of the film.

Personally, I believe that Waves was about how emotions and insecurities can become so overwhelming that they can take control of our actions. The message is that these overbearing emotions come and go like waves.

Overall, Waves is an excellent movie and when interpreted thoroughly it could have an emotional effect on its viewers. Because of Tik Tok, the beauty of this movie has recently come to light and deserves to be watched.