Criticism of ‘The Voyeurs’: The indiscreet gaze

The criticisms of Daniel Farriol:
The Voyeurs

The Voyeurs it’s a thriller American erotic written and directed by Michael Mohan (Everything sucks, save the date). The story revolves around Pippa and Thomas, a young couple who have just moved into the apartment of their dreams. They soon discover that the windows allow them to see inside the apartment across the street and they cannot resist obsessively observing their neighbors. It is starring Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria, Night), Justice Smith (Generation, Violet y Finch), Ben Hardy (Pixie, Bohemian Rhapsody), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (The Society, Guns Akimbo), Katharine King, Cait Alexander, Caitlyn Sponheimer, Daniel Grogan and Madelline Harvey. The film has been released on the platform of Amazon Prime Video on September 10, 2021.

Eroticism, cinematic references and a lot of nose

It’s strange and erratic The Voyeurs a movie that boycotts and contradicts itself in every decision it makes. Taking as reference the thrillers erotic that became so fashionable in the 80s and 90s, seeks to update the genre by introducing current issues and concerns of the generations millennials e instagramers. The starting point of the plot revolves around a young couple formed by Pippa and Thomas, she is an ophthalmologist and he is the composer of jingles, who just moved into a luxurious Montreal apartment. They soon discover that their love nest allows them to observe in great detail what happens inside the apartment across the street. There live Seb and Julia, a professional photographer and a former model, who have no qualms about having sex by the windows.

The protagonists will begin a dangerous game in which observing their neighbors will turn into a true obsession with unexpected consequences. The premise may remind The rear window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954) and more especially to his remake apocryphal Double body (Brian De Palma, 1984). In fact, we will find enough connections with the morbid and twisted style of the cinema of this last director, although Michael Mohan he never manages to be so risky or creative in his staging. It is no coincidence that among the decoration of the apartment we find a poster of Blow-Up (Wish for a summer morning) (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966) to which the Palm paid tribute in Impact (1981).

Between cat curiosity and unhealthy intrusion into each other’s privacy, Pippa and Thomas will put their own relationship aside to focus on observing and listening (through a complex audio amplification system) to everything that happens in the lives of their neighbors. . It is as if they are sitting in front of a reality show Big Brother TV show or as if they had become the disgruntled lovers of the underrated romantic comedy Addicted to love (Griffin Dunne, 1997). For a moment the game becomes erotic and fetishistic with a sexual scene that involves synchronized orgasms in both houses, no joke, but shortly after the film changes course again towards a more conventional intrigue.

Of eyes and eggs

The Voyeurs stars emerging actress Sydney Sweeney, which has suffered indiscriminate harassment through social networks. It’s something the movie talks about, but in a contradictory way. On the one hand, in the pre-credits opening scene we can glimpse the actress between the curtains of the changing rooms of a lingerie store until she discovers us and closes the curtains to avoid our prying eyes, but later in various scenes of the film He does not skimp on showing us the naked body of the actress to the delight of his fans. That is why the critical discourse contained in the film seems tricky to me. Our intrusion into the lives of others and the use of other people’s images are questioned as a violation of non-consensual privacy and yet, The Voyeurs He makes the most of the morbid that the actress awakens to capture our attention with explicit scenes of high sexual voltage.

Another subject that is touched on the side and with little tact is that of consent and abuse. After their brand new binoculars Pippa and Thomas (how boring and insipid this character is!) They will discover that their attractive neighbor shares in a despotic way with his wife and continually cheats on her by sleeping in her absence with the models he photographs. The method of seduction that he uses is linked to his position of power since he is a recognized photographer with whom it is necessary to work to make a name for himself in the world, something that he garnishes with a good glass of wine or a few extra bills. Thomas feels uncomfortable looking at one of those scenes, but he does it in the distance and without intervening as it usually happens in real life.

Between the mid-afternoon telefilm and the cinema exploitation Eighties, the film progresses with increasingly absurd script decisions until a final fireworks full of impossible twists (some foreseeable) that work with unequal luck. In particular, it seduces me more when it detaches itself from the transcendental and becomes absolutely insane (ocular revenge) than when it seeks the discursive and instructive tone about the dangers of gossiping (the photographic exhibition in which the problems of the first Internet world). As is clear from that recurrent and perverse visual simile between eyes and balls, I think that by the way of terror, the gore and the body horror It is guilty pleasure it would have been even more enjoyable but probably also more minority. It’s like the movie wants to be wild without being nasty or wicked but not twisted. The Voyeurs It is an insane experience carried out with prophylactic modesty that does not possess the courage or the thrillers erotic of yesteryear or classic movies like Faceless eyes (Georges Francis, 1960) to which the song of the end credits performed by Angel Olsen.

What do you think of the movie?

The Voyeurs

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Criticism of ‘The Voyeurs’: The indiscreet gaze