Waste sees a kleptomaniac, a pair of wannabe thugs, an Instagram model, and a do-gooder all serving their court-ordered community service in a local park together. As they clean up the waste that plagues the park, they come to understand one another better and appreciate the little things in life.
Meanwhile, a film crew is working to put together a documentary about the waste pile up in the city. They’ve determined that the best place to begin their journey is with a group of locals with court-ordered community service. As they interview each individual, the audience becomes aware of the fact that each person has great depth. The idea that there is more than what appears on the surface rings true in the real world and provides viewers a reason to connect to what is taking place.
“…a kleptomaniac, a pair of wannabe thugs, an Instagram model, and a do-gooder all serving their court-ordered community service…”
The morals behind Waste are what drive the film because nearly everything else is unintentionally laughable. From the moment Waste opens, it is clear that the acting would be, at best, subpar, and this aspect of the film does not disappoint. Every emotion, every word spoken, and every attempt at comedy is delivered roughly and inaccurately. It is difficult to appreciate the early sentiment and to understand what exactly writer-directors, Carly Otte and Michael Huntsman, are attempting to get out of their actors (and themselves). It is apparent that, at least in the early going, they fall short of their expectations. As the characters attempt to convey emotions ranging from love to animosity, they become almost violently awkward and uncomfortable to watch. I cringed as I watched Kyra (Otte), Zeke (Hunstman), Francesca (Kelly Alejandra Cantoral), and the rest, spew nonsense out into the world around them. The actors’ inability to create a genuine sense of emotion at any point throughout Waste makes it difficult for viewers to bond with them.
You have to search for it, but there is more to Waste than one might initially walk away thinking. With a sense of accomplishment coming in toward the end of the short comedy, there is some payoff for suffering through the film. It’s even possible to say that Waste might teach you a thing or two about the world.
Through all of the treachery that is Waste, viewers are able to feel something toward the end as the characters come together for some unforeseen reasons. With a low budget, it seems almost impossible to find impeccably talented individuals to carry out your vision. Even still, Huntsman and Otte fail so miserably in that department that it might be difficult to trust them in the future with similar endeavors. Failure, whether intentional or not, becomes a theme of Waste, ultimately propelling the film forward in the only way it knows. There’s potential lying in the depths of Huntsman and Otte’s beings, but it’s still virtually untapped. While the payoff, in the end, doesn’t save the rest of the motion picture, it is nice to see that the nonsense leads to something a bit bigger.
"…might teach you a thing or two about the world…"