The tagline of Prevertere (the new offering from writer/director Brian McGuire) reads “a pervert’s quest for love”. As anyone would imagine, it’s a journey that features numerous sex scenes en route. But the protagonist Templeton (Terry Wayne) – who’s frequently polyamorous while harbouring an unfortunate jealous streak – doesn’t come across as a man on a mission. Instead, he bangs his head against the restrictive barriers of monogamy, failing, without really trying, to make it work for him.
The film investigates various styles of intimacy through vignettes featuring sex, arguments and relationship analysis with the three women in Templeton’s life: Jo-anne (Rose Rossi) – the on-again off-again girlfriend, Shelly (Antonella Ponziani) – the other woman, and Irene (Pollyanna McIntosh) – the casual sex buddy. All three are well-cast, and prove to be worthy foils for the restless Templeton. Through the contrast of these women, McGuire examines how relationships function in the modern world.
McGuire is hardly treading new ground with his subject – we’ve seen the male-protagonist-with-commitment-issues trope play out time after time in pop culture. What’s unique is how the narrative is framed: its non-linear structure, its intense bouts of dialogue dissecting relationships, and its steadfast refusal to answer any of the questions it poses. The unseen shock jock DJ who bookends the film proclaims “the answer to the game of love is – ”, before being cut off, leaving us to wonder.
The women in Templeton’s world are somewhat interchangeable, but McGuire avoids the trap of underdeveloped female characters by awarding them with the film’s most realistic and substantial dialogue. This is most noticeable in Irene, who is able to call out Templeton on his own culpability in his dysfunctional relationships, refusing to allow him to shrug off Shelly as“crazy” for her continued attachment to him.
In Prevertere, monogamy is difficult, unwanted or unsustainable. Therefore Templeton’s most mature relationship is with the free-spirited Irene, and it’s clear that exclusivity would ruin the bond they’ve forged together. The dimly-lit scenes delve into the darkness of human relationships to deliver an unblinkingly honest dissection of the sexual psyche.
Prevertere is released in the UK on 27th September 2013.
Watch the trailer for Prevertere here: