In the wake of the 2004 tsunami, Anni (Kasia Mount), a young woman of Anglo/Indian descent, returns to Kerala in Southern India for the first time since the death of her mother Kate (Rebecca Grant), sixteen years ago. She is there to support the relief effort, but when she goes to stay with her stepfather Charles (Ben Richards), she finds herself on a journey to rediscover her mother and uncover the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death.
Charles is a surly, reclusive man who inhabits the beachside house Chakara. Both man and house seem to be haunted by the events of the past. Whilst staying there, Anni unearths Kate’s diary and discovers her mother - her exuberance and dynamism and her relationships with both Charles and Anni’s father Oscar (Clark Crewe).
Anni’s quest for the truth takes her to the local Chief of Police, Raj Singh (Rez Kempton), who is convinced Kate did not commit suicide (the official verdict) but was in fact killed by Charles, but he has no proof.
Meanwhile Anni forges a friendship with Simon (Kevin Kemp) (Charles’ son from his first marriage) and observes that there is an awkwardness between father and son. Convinced that Simon is hiding something, she pushes him to breaking point.
The sea is used as a motif throughout the film, representing the ebb and flow of life’s highs and lows and when Anni and Simon finally catch up with Charles, he is on the beach with the waves crashing behind him. The sea reflects the high drama of the events that follow, culminating in Charles’ unburdening himself of the terrible secret he has been carrying all these years and so finally revealing the true circumstances of Kate’s death.