Wasp is 2004 Oscar winning short film by Andrea Arnold of Fish Tank fame. It's a story of a single mother with 4 kids who is determined to rekindle her romance with her ex-boyfriend and stars Natalie Press as Victoria Beckham obsessed young mother of 4.
Andrea Arnold here too excels in her capability of showing interpersonal relationship between girls of a family well and shows contradictory characteristics of her lead cast. Zoe (Natalie Press) is fiesty yet frightened, blousy, brave and beautiful, dispairing and hopeful. Even though she has a baby and 3 daughters, she herself feels like the eldest daughter in the gang, in need of parenting. Keen to have night out and looking out for herself, she is shown as an irresponsible mother but not someone not caring or not worried about her kids waiting for her outside the pub. And its in this beautiful grey, we start empathising with the character, and start looking out for her and the kids alike. With the long lens and handheld camera that follows the characters adding to vivid realism, nothing seems staged.
See this short for beautiful real performances from all the actors even the small girls, and how the director manages to create a tense situation in an urban setting, capturing the plight of people who live in the fringes of society and have no help from anywhere.
Short Film Window Review of Wasp:
Andrea Arnold is the director of the modern classic, Fish Tank (2009) a film of desperate lives, of horizons reduced by poverty and lack of imagination with the only freedom being offered is of the compromised sort. If you haven't seen that film, you need to see it immediately. Wasp is like a companion piece to that film, or maybe a morbid sequel to that film-the life the spunky angry teenager protagonist probably had after she left home with her boyfriend.
The film is economical with its handheld images-you know a lot about Zoe in the first few seconds, the hapless single mother as she drags her brood of kids, barefoot herself, to exact revenge from another mother who hit her child, leading to a clumsy, pathetic fight. And you know all you need to know about her kids, as you see the eldest distribute sugar from a bag to each other for lunch. They are fiercely loyal to their mother, but are also more or less taking care of themselves.
On the way back home, Zoe runs into an old flame, and promises to meet him at a pub later. And she decides to lie to him about having kids, while also making her kids wait outside in the car parking lot for her. As the car's hurtle around them outside, gradually a sense of doom begins to attach to the children.
The couple of Victoria and David Beckham loom large over Zoe's imagination, the perfect couple who escaped their middle-class backgrounds for a fairy-tale life. And to give weight to her denial, her new-old flame is also named David. But, the film keeps coming back to the image of the wasp, the insect that she lets out of the window earlier, the authorial intent that keeps flitting into view, keeps trying to enter back into their lives.