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Film Review: “The Wasting” (2017) ★★★


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When you close your eyes, do you worry that your nightmares may come true? The truth is, most people are afraid of what can haunt them in the dark of the night, while for some, those same nightmarish dreams can become reality in bright daylight. Is it the darkness or the light we must be more concerned about? “The Wasting” is penned and directed by Carolyn Saunders. What is told in her story is much deeper and darker than some plain, harmless nightmare and has the power to travel beyond the imagination of the film’s protagonist; in this case – outside of her room.

Sophie is a teenage girl who lives with her overprotective father – Ilyas. Her controlling parent wants to dictate everything in Sophie’s life – who to meet and who to be friends with. As a protest, she refuses to ear. And that does not make anything easier for her but drives her closer to the edge of the cliff. She begins to see nightmares, and soon even fails to distinguish the reality from the dream. And when she learns the true nature of her troubles, Sophie has to make a difficult decision to end it for good.

The story is set in a small English town. Sophie’s father has moved to England from Chechnya in search of a fresh start for himself and his daughter. Sophie is very close with her mother – Valerie. When her girlfriend Grace and boyfriend Liam are not around, Valerie is always beside Sophie. However, their interaction is a bit strange and might raise some questions, especially that her father has been living with his girlfriend for two years now. By the time Sophie is able to realize what’s going on, it might be a bit late. The ghost from the past is eating her from the inside, leaving her mind in an unstable condition.

Saunders has been able to give distinguishing voices to the characters she has created. But the film is lacking an emotional depth, which also can be intentional. She describes the connection between Valerie and her troubled daughter and what makes her continue to follow her from a different country. Sophie is a charming girl and wants to build her relationship with Liam, who is a very caring person. But her mind is too preoccupied with her mother who is more impactful than anything else. In that, Saunders manages to reach her goal but slightly misses it.

In conclusion, in spite of a few details l have already mentioned, “The Wasting” is a worthy indie drama that is a bit more than just a coming-of-age film. There are some good points that I can’t deny. The premise of it may not be new but is refreshing enough to give it a chance. Although not a masterpiece, this film does deserve a chance to be seen by a decent amount of viewers.

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