Eye For Film >> Movies >> Pepper (2014) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
There's an inherent problem with threesomes which, strangely, is not one of the things people usually talk about. It's that no three people are equally attractive. This is fine if people are secure about themselves and their relationships, or are genuinely lighthearted about sex, but when there are already points of stress, it can lead to trouble.
Patrick Aubert's film, which he co-wrote with his cast, opens with two women lying in bed together, their faces glowing; they are evidently waking up after a happy night. Almost incidentally, the camera slides across to show us a third. Her body language is different, her muscles tense. Initially, the talk is of breakfast. When pepper is suggested, she turns it down, says she's allergic. Her partner disputes this. Relationships are built on the little things. How can such a thing be unfamiliar, when they are living together?
A bed with three people in it is no place for a private conversation. Here there is a great deal of talking exclusively, talking across people, with less and less effort to be polite. Small gestures become subject to wild interpretations as each of the women tries to reason out what the others are thinking. The trivial seems to encapsulate the monumental. Where do they stand in life? What does the future hold? What ought they to have done in the past? The present is lost altogether.
Brilliantly observational and poignant, Pepper sums up lifetimes of disappointment and loneliness in just eight minutes. Is there still room for hope? Perhaps - but only offscreen.Reviewed on: 16 Nov 2015