When Oliver (Simon Haycock) and his lover James (Hugo Bolton) decide to take a holiday to Oliver’s family home in the beautiful South of France, their hopes of a secluded romantic getaway are soon dashed by the addition of James’s friend Caroline (Elly Condron).
Caroline has recently split from her boyfriend, and as such is going through her own personal pain and anguish; meaning James feels he cannot shun her. At first the furtive glances and way the camera lingers on James and Caroline seem to suggest something more than a plutonic history. However, Caroline’s attention begins to turn towards Oliver.
As with much LGBT cinema the discussion of sexuality and the infamous ‘coming out’ question is discussed between the trio in Wasp. This scene in particular is filled with tension as Oliver reveals his sexual past also features relationships with women.
Wasp is a largely understated film, which is not a criticism – it is more interested in physical language rather than spoken language. The film tells the audience more about the characters’ feelings through their actions and the way the camera stays on them at certain moments and keeps its distance for other.
The actors carry the film well, considering it is just the three of them throughout. Haycock is the stand out by far with the others taking a little longer to find their feet and relax into the narrative.
The emotions and relationships could have been given a little more depth but I believe Philippe Audi-Dor, the writer and director, perhaps deliberately kept his directing at a distance in order to maintain the mystery of the character’s desires.
The action often cuts away to some arty shots of a wasp trapped at a window. I wasn’t sure if this was meant to be a metaphor for Caroline’s presence at the house; like an unwanted insect at a picnic. For the most part these shots just seems a little over indulgent and pointless.
A surface exploration of sexuality and desires, that could have delved much deeper into the characters but overall is an interesting and somewhat captivating watch.