As a father in new movie, Sterling K. Brown’s character Ronald pushes his children to the brink, leading to unexpected and deadly consequences. In the new trailer for Waves, Ronald encourages his son Tyler (Luce star Kelvin Harrison Jr.) to be the best version of himself — in school, in sports, and at home — declaring that the family is “not afforded the luxury of being average.” Shots of Tyler working out and competing in matches have a foreboding feeling to them, especially as Ronald is seen watching critically from the sidelines.
In addition to the family drama, Waves teases a romance between Tyler and a fellow teenager, Alexis, portrayed by Euphoria actress Alexa Demie. What starts out as a sweet romance seemingly devolves into chaos later on in the trailer. It’s the relationships Tyler has with his girlfriend, and with his father, that are the crux of the film.
“It’s a tricky balance with Tyler, because there’s like this procession of his life that’s so grand, and so much fun, and his relationship with his girlfriend is so dynamic, and so full of love and spontaneity. I was like, ‘I’ve never experienced that. He’s so cool.’ But he’s dealing with a lot of expectations and a lot of boxes that his dad’s kind of put him in, in terms of being a young Black male, and being exceptional, and doing his best,” writer-director Shults told Deadline of his new film following its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. “I was like, ‘That duality is fascinating to me,’ and I kind of wanted to explore it and still find his humanity in all of it.”
Though the trailer offers little in terms of plot, it teases just enough scenes to know that this will be an emotional — and perhaps even anxiety-producing — journey.
Check out the trailer below:
Waves hits UK cinemas in January 2020