The Wake of Light is an emotional romantic drama that focusses on Mary (Rome Brooks), a woman who lives a simple life with her father, Stanley (William Lige Morton) who she’s been looking after ever since he had a stroke when she was little.
Then one day Mary meets Cole (Matt Bush) and after an awkward first conversation they start growing closer, eventually leading Mary to think about the future they could have together. However, the turmoil she faces over the prospect of leaving her father could be too much for her to bear.
With the film being an indie drama, some audiences may not expect to find much depth in such a simple story. However, the film touches upon a lot of issues around responsibility, love and doing what’s right, even if it means leaving loved ones behind. Thanks to the script, Bush brings out Cole’s nervous energy and turns him into a likeable and believable character, making it a refreshing change to see a romantic lead that doesn’t always do and say the right things, but isn’t forced to be clumsy and awkward for comedic effect either.
Also, Brooks manages to channel Mary’s outlook on life in a realistic way, as she mulls over what she wishes for in life but also struggles with the reality of her responsibilities. Together the couple work well, and the quiet, thoughtful charm of the direction gives the audience an insight into their blossoming relationship to which I’m sure many can relate.
However, with every good side of a relationship there comes a bad and the film doesn’t shy away from the harder dramatic moments which makes the film all the more interesting.
Beautifully shot and paying homage in part to What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Wake of Light may not be the most original storyline but it’s all about the journey on which the film takes its audience and not the destination. The pacing may have been better if there were perhaps weren’t as many shots of the leads staring into the distance looking for answers, but the tone is just right and the ending will lift the hearts of the audience. The Wake of Light certainly shows promise for its cast and writer/director and judging by how well thought out the script and characters were, I’m sure there will be more interesting stories that they can tell.
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