• Waves: Paradise of Loss

      In the film Waves (dir. Don Frasco, Waverly Pictures: PHL 2013), a young man Ross (Baron Geisler) attempts to rekindle a romance with Sofia (Ilona Struzik). They travel to a remote island and navigate both their past and present, feeling their way through to determine if they have a future together.

      In his debut film, Frasco shows both prowess and refinement in helming the audiovisual elements. It’s been noted by critics and reviewers that like Terence Malick, Frasco’s frames of a sea’s far horizon, of its rolling depths and of an island’s solitidunous stretch of shores are poetic imagery in motion. Within the static, long shots, the moving imagery surrounds and immerses the viewers in emotional atmospheres identical to the internal natures of the two protagonists.

      Frasco employs the epic nature of an island paradise to intimate true emotions of loss within its two travelers.

      Though Waves strongly hints at Frasco’s potential as a cinematic poet, it is in the film’s story and the portrayal of the main characters where Frasco’s directorial skills can be considered as intermediate, still in transition to adeptness.

      Waves can be seen as a story about loss; and how people cope. A common coping mechanism is to reminisce about the times before the loss, and always wish or find means to return or relive those ‘good times’.

      The protagonist Ross is introduced as a bachelor to be in the midst of coping with loss. He spends his days either in his room, numbing himself with drink or with lonely jogs during sunset.

      Clearly, he nurses a deep hurt over something he lost and now his days stands still his world made of empty liquor bottles and sunset walks, his eyes on some distant horizon, his mind absent from the present.

      The second protagonist Sofia on the other hand appears to be busy and on the go. Fresh from a modeling job in Seoul and in transit to her New York home, she stops over and gives Ross a call. She still squeezes in time to reconnect with an old friend since she’s in the region.

      But when she appears, her on-screen reluctant behavior with Ross makes one wonder if her intent to meet with him and then agree to getaway to an island together have just been mere whimsy. Sofia is at a loss, and is just going with the flow.

      Ross is determined to woo Sofia. From the couple’s talks that rise and ebb between friendly to intimate, their past is revealed. They met in New York, became fast friends in fast times and had the carefree, careless adventure of their young lives under the city lights. But time was sweet and short; they had to grow up, they had to grow apart—both had dreams that can’t be easily shared and they made their choices.

      Now they are two people, both maybe in quarter-life crisis, both maybe asking the same questions: when did their Time stop, and would Time ever move again? Ross and Sofia’s loss is that of the Time They Are.

      When the narrative turns to the protagonists travel to the island paradise; an effort in Ross’ heart to recover or restart Time for both of them, it is a weak dramatic choice that comes out of a misunderstanding or temporary amnesia about the characters’ shared back story and onscreen personas.

      Memories have specific sites, such as senses and settings. A sight or a scent can trigger a memory, so can a particular setting or venue; how a visit to a school can make one recall life as a student, much more stronger the recall when the visit is to one’s alma mater no matter how it has changed or remained the same.

      When Ross persuades Sofia to enjoy an island getaway, it is for him a means to relive the Time together with her. Yet Time/Memory is tied to Place, Time on an Island is different from the Time they shared together which was in a City, in particular New York City as much the two settings (city vs. island) themselves are obviously different.

      It begs the question will two urbanites; whose past fleeting flirtship and present friendship began and ended in the night life of that City of Cities, reclaim their lost time in an remote island and resume their lives?

      Whether or not Ross and Sofia recover from their shared loss or gain a new experience in the island paradise is what audiences will just have to discover for themselves in watching Don Frasco’s spectacle of island imagery and poetics that is Waves, showing this June 24 in theaters nationwide.

      Schedule and Location of Theaters showing Waves:
      June 24, 2015
      Rating: R13
      1:29 (no trailers)
      1:34:10:12 (with 2 trailers)

      1. Robinsons Galleria
      2. SM North 9 (S - After the Ball)
      3. SM Megamall 12 (S - Burying the Ex)
      4. SM Sta. Mesa 6 (S - Film Fiesta)
      5. SM Fairview 10
      6. SM Bacoor 8 (S - Film Fiesta)

      II. LUZON
      1. SM Clark 3 (S - Jurassic)

      III. VIZ/MIN
      1. SM Lanang 2
      2. Gaisano Starscene Davao 6 (S - Kruel)
      3. SM Cinema 6 (June 24-26; 7:15pm & 9:00pm)

      Diem Judilla
      iSTORYA League of Writers

      Diem Judilla is currently writing his MA Thesis in Cinema Studies at the University of San Carlos School of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design and teaching subjects for the USC Fine Arts Cinema undergraduates. He’s still the creative director of SineBuano and is still involved though covertly in weekend activities to promote and develop Cebuano cinema.
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      Comments 1 Comment
      1. Galadriel's Avatar
        Galadriel -
        Waves is showing in Robinsons Galleria until today.

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