Wasp is a 2003 Oscar-winning narrative film that was also featured at the 2005 Academy Awards. It is a drama created by Andrea Arnold, who is credited as both writer and director. It tells the story of a struggling family in the London underworld. It is a longer film, and it plays out like a feature. There is enough time to develop characters. The film progresses casually, dropping hints and foreshadowing events to come.
The creeping suspense that builds throughout the film is what really makes this film enjoyable. With each poor decision the mother makes, the audience becomes more invested in the story, more concerned with the fate of the mother and her children. Once simple objects like parking spaces and tossed food wrappers become life threatening obstacles to the children when parental supervision is gone. Each near miss pulls at the concerns of the audience and helps to keep suspense high in an otherwise calm situation.
When describing the film it sounds as though the mother would be seen as the enemy throughout the course. Surprisingly, this is not the case. Arnold writes the characters in such a way that the reaction is not distaste. Instead, the mother of the children evokes pity from the audience, who consistently hope she makes the right decisions for the sake of her children. This helps to convey the intention of Arnold’s film; to show that we are not so far away from the type of poverty we fear. The impoverished are not limited to developing nations, and the same problem exists in established nations like the United States.
Because of this, it is important that the audience does not turn against the mother. It does not seem to be Arnold’s intent to further diminish a massive group of people already locked into a daily struggle. Instead, she hopes to shed light on the issue by presenting a perfectly believable example of the issue she is opposing. She shows the drastically increased danger for people in such situations, especially children, and makes a point to show that children should not be punished for situations they cannot correct themselves. The family in the film is in a bad enough situation to evoke feeling from an audience, yet not so bad that the audience cant relate, or blames the mother.