Written and directed by Rolfin Nyhus and Steven C Brumwell, for most people, being at the centre of their own world and having a loving family is a wonderful thing. For Charlie, it’s a literal nightmare. Starring: Ralph Ineson, Krissi Bohn, Sophie Bould, Howard Samuels and Emily Amoh.
Mental health is finally getting the light of day in film and television but it’s a tricky topic to explore, full of complexity and often invisible. Rolfin Nyhus and Steven C Brumwell get around that by physically manifesting Charlie’s (Ralph Ineson) OCD, demonstrating the devastating impact that it has by letting it take over the entire environment. In doing so it creates a dystopian styled setting, a world on the brink of collapse, struggling to hold itself together. The tone is drastic and frantic, easy to spiral, reflecting the thought processes in the mind of those suffering with the condition. It can also be a touch cold, the emotion is there and you can see its path but there isn’t a great deal of exploration to the character’s background or personality outside of his OCD to round things out.
Choosing Ralph Ineson to play Charlie was a great piece of casting because he has a knack for presenting a sympathetic character but with an edge. The darkness and roughness that he brings matches the tone of the film really well. There’s also a big physicality to his performance, he’s throwing himself full force into this character, exploring the struggle through every tool at his disposal. When the film nears its end, he brings out a different side, presenting the final call for help as he prepares to give up.
That’s another great theme the film explores well, how little moments and gestures can make all the difference when it comes to mental health. Although today there are more open conversations and resources for mental health issues, it’s still a common factor that people will feel unable to ask for help. Which is why it’s so vital to include in the conversation to watch for signs that someone is struggling and to reach out.
Waving brings to life mental health struggles with a dark edge and harsh atmosphere, presenting a physical representation of inner battles. Ralph Ineson brings a fiercely conflicted energy, portraying the aggression and confusion that can result in a mind plagued by OCD. It delves into the negatives but still holds out a ray of hope, sending a poignant message about reaching out to those you see struggling.