Every Breaking Wave (film)

A few days ago a short film called Every Breaking Wave was released. I didn’t know much about it, I’d heard about the filming in Belfast and the complaints surrounding it, that people thought it was a shoot for a U2 video and thought that U2 were using the Troubles for their own gain. Clearly not, and another example of why you shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

Spoilers ahead? Possibly. Watch the film before you read this, it’s only 13 minutes long. I hope the link above remains good, if not google the name with Aoife McArdle (director).

This is tangentially U2, based on the name and the music in the film (both Every Breaking Wave and The Troubles featured in it), but I’m reviewing it anyway. I already reviewed Every Breaking Wave the song.

I can’t say I know much about the troubles in Northern Ireland, I have a basic understanding of it from far away. I’ve never been in any situation like that, never want to be, but I can see it reflected all over the world. I can’t condone terrorism, I don’t see the need to kill others for much of anything, although there is that whole living under the barrel of a gun thing. Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. I can very easily see myself being on either side of things in pretty much any war, simply depending on when and where I was born.

I have to confess I had no idea which character was which when it came to the skinheads. From scene to scene I couldn’t pick them apart, so I didn’t know which one was the lead for most of the early part of the film. And as I watched I kept looking for band members, was expecting Larry to be one of the skinheads (or their dad). I also kept looking at the posters on the walls, trying to see if there was a U2 poster (didn’t see one, probably not punk enough).

Amazing end, that he will help the enemy who had given him a beating earlier. And that there will be just as many civilian victims as military, which tells you something about the indiscriminate nature of bombings.

I didn’t like that they subtitled it, I understood the words just fine.

The film is meant to be powerful, and it is. I’m not sure it’s great though, but it’s good. Possibly too short, I think that it could have developed the characters and the love aspect more than it did. That might have broken the point of the film though. Hard to tell the timeframe involved, whether a few days or more (I think more, given that by the end his head injury has nearly healed). One thing I really didn’t like was that after the bombing, he opens the door and she is gone. My expectation was that she was dead, but no, she’s down the street. If a bomb went off when you were outside your boyfriend’s house, would you check on him, or wander off somewhere else?

I’ve actually had my own ideas about films/videos for both these songs while listening to them. I can say I wasn’t too far from the story in this film. Maybe I’ll tell you about them someday.

My rating for Every Breaking Wave (film): 6 / 10