Hopedale Mail

Buckle up for an Emotional Experience That Throw Your Expectations Out of the Window

Waiting for the Light to Change


Genre: Drama
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 29m
Director(s): Linh Tran
Writer(s): Linh Tran, Jewells Santos, Delia Van Praag
Cast: Erik Barrientos, Qun Chi, Joyce Ha, Jin Park, Sam Straley
Language: English/Mandarin, w/English subtitles
Where To Watch: 2023 Slamdance Film Festival Premiere. Screen this and more at Slamdance Film Festival

RAVING REVIEW: A thought-provoking debut film that delves into the complexities of young adulthood, WAITING FOR THE LIGHT TO CHANGE presents a relatable portrait of anxieties and insecurities that offer a glimpse into the psyche of today's youth. Director Linh Tran expertly captures the pressure of everyday interactions and societal expectations. The film is skillfully crafted and meticulously constructed, showcasing confidence in the refreshingly gifted cast.

The movie follows a group of friends as they journey to a secluded lakefront property; emotions and new attractions emerge, uncovering hidden grudges and yearnings. The characters struggle to discover significance and purpose in the seaside community as their efforts to bond with each other spiral into a storm of feelings. The visuals, including shots of the lake's rippling water, signify to the viewer that the characters are drifting apart and their coping mechanisms are failing.

A sense of unease runs throughout the movie, acting as the glue that holds the entire film together. As the group starts to fall apart before our eyes, it becomes evident that they must continue for the duration of the journey, despite the disintegration of their relationships. WAITING FOR THE LIGHT TO CHANGE is a powerful declaration that assures us that circumstances will remain unchanged.

The young actors' performances are impressive, and Tran's leadership is seen throughout. It is an essential viewing for anyone seeking to grasp the intricacies of youth and the demands for conformity. It encapsulates the essence of youth and the difficulties that accompany it. Creating an intimate connection with its characters and will resonate with anyone who has experienced the disconnect between their past and present selves.

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[photo courtesy of PRIMA MATERIA]