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The Independent Critic

Josh Dohy, Panta Mosleh, Amy Fox, Anthony Shudra, Julie Bruns, Jill Nixon, Bruce A. Smith, Dylan Casanova, Kristof Gillese
Brian McWha
Neil Chase, Brian McWha
9 Mins.

 "Tsunami Falls" Gets Set for Indie Festival Circuit 
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In 2019, director Brian McWha received the Directors Guild of Canada BC's Emerging Filmmakers Grant for the script that has become Tsunami Falls, an emotionally engaging film starring Josh Dohy as Thomas, a young man who awakens in his oceanside home to 23 missed phone calls and news reports of an earthquake out at sea and a 40-foot tsunami due to arrive on land in a mere two minutes. 

The story that follows is one of both resignation and regret, grief and acceptance of the inevitable. As Thomas watches what will become the approaching wave that is sure to result in his demise, he reflects upon his own life through its ups and downs, wins and losses. While Tsunami Falls could have easily become a work of histrionics and high emotions, McWha understands the universality of death and chooses to approach this story with minimal dialogue and trusting that each of us will experience Thomas's story in our own individual way. 

Indeed, that is precisely what happens. 

The original score by Sean William is one of emotional power, yet realism and immersion. There's a sense of being enveloped, a feeling most likely close to that which Thomas is feeling as he stands in his home and awaits the inevitable. It's a beautiful score sublimely complementing the story that unfolds. 

So, too, lensing by Pieter Stathis avoids unnecessary gimmicks and instead approaches this task rather matter-of-factly. It is clear and precise in the way it watches the stories of Thomas unfold. 

As the adult Thomas, Dohy allows his presence to tell the story. He uses his body language to tell a story that words cannot communicate effectively, dialogue minimal yet Dohy's physical presence telling a story of life. 

Tsunami Falls is the kind of film that leaves you thinking and feeling and reflecting upon your own life, wondering both "What would I do?" and also, perhaps, reflecting gratefully on those moments that make it all worthwhile regardless the outcome. The recently completed film is tasked with the challenge of finding a presence in a pandemic-influenced festival world, yet one can only hope it does find its place as it's most certainly a film that deserves to be seen and will most certainly be remembered. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic