In Don Gerardo Frasco’s Waves, the notion of a peaceful island spirals into a cacophony of frustration and despair when two old friends try to rekindle their love for one another. With every scene, new challenges surface for our main characters to confront within the confines of their crumbling haven. The triumph of Waves is Frasco’s ability to enrapture the trouble that exists in paradise. Sure, its Philippine environments look beautiful, but when propped up against the anguish of the story’s lies and mistrust, they take on the feel of an awkward, unreachable dream for our disillusioned secret lovers.
This debut film from filmmaker Don Gerardo Frasco is photographed grandly yet constructed intimately that is reminiscent of the work of Terrence Malick, but in a way that thankfully feels inspired rather than imitative. While the pacing and editing of the film flow with the cinematography in a free and poetic nature that has been canonized in the work of Malick, the film stands apart from Malick’s influence. The film follows Ross (Baron Geisler) and Sofia (Ilona Struzik), two friends who reconnect over the course of a few days and take a trip to a secluded island and attempt a failed romance.