Summer's here and who wouldn't turn down an opportunity to get a pint at the local pub? Natalie Press as Zoë puts on the school girl charm in an afternoon of awkward jitters flirting with a past flame in Andrea Arnold's short film Wasp. Now strapped with 4 kids, no money, and dead-end domesticity, Zoë reaches out to Dave (Danny Dyer) whose Beckham good looks and bad-boy confidence melts her with his compassion.
If there is one thing that WASP succeeds with is its awkwardness that not only plagues the characters but also, haunts the viewer. Arnold finds the most comedic or vibrant part of the situation and exploits it, creating an uncomfortable juxtaposition with the serious parts of the film. The film's realism makes it unbearable to watch because of how personal it feels. Paradoxically, this is what makes the film great.
3.3 stars. I think it was a mistake to call the film 'Wasp' because it then gives the titular set piece a symbolic weight which doesn't suit the "life just happens and keeps on happening" sensibility of Arnold's filmmaking. As ever, she does a remarkable job of suspending the viewer's judgements. To quote Richard Pryor, "It's hard enough being a human being… just to walk through life decent as a person".