Voyeurs are people who snoop or spy on other people’s private lives without their permission. However, in the 21st century, the only private thing in our lives is our intimate relationships or our lives within the four walls (to some extent). Referring to the notion, The Voyeurs follows a couple who peep into a married couple’s apartment and start fantasizing about it. What follows ahead is a lesson on morality, garnished with a few twists and turns to make the fable interesting.
Michael Mohan’s thriller film derives its basic premise from Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) and a 2021 thriller film, The Woman in the Window, directed by Joe Wright. While taking inspiration is not a critical issue in storytelling, But having a crooked ideology is. Mohan’s written film is “sensational” but not moral enough. It’s pure entertainment, and I hope viewers will perceive it the same way.
‘The Voyeurs’ Plot Summary
Background score artist Thomas (Justice Smith), and his girlfriend, Pippa (Sydney Sweeney), a trainee ophthalmologist at L’optique, move into their dream apartment in Montreal.
At night, Thomas and Pippa discover that their window looks directly into the opposite apartment. They get a clear field of vision of their neighbors and quickly get fascinated with their perfect couple’s life. Thomas and Pippa play along and give their neighbors pseudo names, i.e., Margot and Brent, to gossip about them with their friends. However, as their curiosity heightens, Thomas and Pippa point a laser at their neighbor’s apartment to capture their sound vibrations. Hence, to get a better understanding of what the couple converse about.
A conscious Thomas understands that things are turning a bit creepy, and thus, they need to halt their actions. But Pippa is addicted to her neighbor’s life. Coincidentally, Margot walks into L’optique, and Pippa helps her to get her vision examined. Through further interaction, Pippa learns that Margot’s real name is Julia Novatore, and she is a model who lives with her successful photographer husband, Sebastian “Seb” Jacobs.
Even after Thomas forbids Pippa to stop the creepiness, Pippa plunges in further and discovers that Seb is cheating on Julia with many other models. In her moral righteousness and to help Julia, Pippa sends her a warning by connecting to her wireless printer. As soon as Julia finds out about her husband’s adultery, she kills herself.
The following morning, Thomas finds out about Julia’s death and blames Pippa for the mess. In anger, Thomas leaves the apartment, and Pippa descends into a pit of despair.
The Death of Thomas
Even after Thomas’ departure, Pippa didn’t drop her obsession with Julia’s husband, Sebastian. She was attracted to the toxic male, and it tempted her to take the big step.
Pippa followed a broken and devastated Seb and moved into a night bar, where Seb approached her. Seb blurrily remembered Pippa’s eyes from the Halloween night party when Pippa and Thomas gatecrashed into their apartment. However, after a hefty discussion about morality, Seb invited Pippa to his apartment, and the rest is history.
The thrill hit the screen when Thomas returned to his apartment on the same night to rekindle his relationship with Pippa. But instead, he found his girlfriend sleeping with his widowed neighbor in Seb’s apartment. The next morning, when Pippa walked inside her apartment, she found Thomas hanging from the ceiling. He killed himself in grief.
Pippa walked around like a corpse after Thomas’ demise and wanted to meet Seb for the last time so that she could finally move on.
‘The Voyeurs’ Ending Explained – Did Thomas Commit Suicide?
Pippa and her friend Ari went to Seb’s photo exhibition, “The Voyeurs,” and discovered that their apartment, belonged to Seb and Julia. The eccentric couple fixed a trap for Thomas and Pippa and tried to distract them from their studio apartment. The new couple took the bait and bothered more about what was going on in their neighbor’s life than their own. Hence, Seb and Julia exploited the voyeurs and weaved a picture narrative for their exhibition, influenced by the tragic tale of Pippa and Thomas.
Devastated by the revelations, Pippa decided to move out of the apartment for good. However, Pippa noticed eight dead birds lying on the exterior window ledge while removing the bird water feeder from the window. The Bird Water Feeder was filled with chlorophyll water that Thomas used to drink. Before his death, when Thomas entered the apartment at night, he took out a bottle of chlorophyll water and drank it. He also poured some into the Bird Water Feeder, which established that someone poisoned the water. But who?
A few days later, Pippa sent a bottle of Scassari (red wine) to Seb and Julia and later sent a printer command to their wireless printer. According to the printed document, Pippa blamed Seb and Julia for killing Thomas. Seb found out Pippa was spying on them from the terrace, and the couple ran after Pippa to stop her madness. Seb and Julia followed Pippa and cornered her inside her optician clinic, L’optique.
Pippa theorized that Julia might have poisoned Thomas’ chlorophyll water when Pippa was sleeping with Seb. Thomas, who arrived at the apartment on the same night, drank the poison and died. Later, Julia hanged his body from the ceiling to make it look like a suicide. However, the birds who drank the chlorophyll water as well proved Julia and Seb’s crime. The couple denied such allegations, but it was too late. The wine sent by Pippa was mixed with sleeping drugs, and it kicked in at the right moment.
Pippa put Julia and Seb’s on the operating table, and with the help of the machine, Pippa burnt their eyes (pupil or iris, maybe).
In the end, two boys moved into the apartment opposite Julia and Seb’s studio. Through their point of view, the screen revealed an older Julia and Seb, with their eyes burnt and vision blind. Pippa was still checking on the neighbor, but at last, she left the binoculars on the terrace, suggesting a closure to her obsession and revenge.
How did Sebastian Jacobs click Thomas and Pippa’s pictures?
After Pippa learned their grand schemes at the ‘The Voyeurs’ exhibition, she sneaked into Seb and Julia’s apartment to understand how they captured her private life and clicked pictures.
In the apartment, Pippa found a hidden attic where she discovered a plethora of shooting equipment and her pictures with Thomas. The curtains discreetly hid the cameras’ in the attic, and each was facing Pippa’s apartment. They constantly clicked photographs triggered by a timer probably set by Seb, not to miss any moment.
In a rage, Pippa destroyed the setup and moved out. Later, in an interview, Seb and Julia claimed that they had mentioned the clause in their lease’ terms and conditions, and probably like many others, Pippa and Thomas would have missed it.
What happened and how it happened was answered in the end. But, the vital question, i.e., “Why Seb and Julia orchestrated such nasty affairs,” was not acknowledged. In my personal opinion, I believe it was their pursuit of fame and glory that made them cross the line. But again, are we living in a society where to become rich and famous, we are ready to slit throats and poison others? If this is the reality we live in today, it is threatening.
It would have been interesting if Michael Mohan had shed some light or explored the responsible layer instead of capturing pure sensational entertainment. As storytellers, one always has a choice to make others responsible, though not many makers believe in such a stale philosophy.
The Voyeurs is a 2021 Drama Thriller film written and directed by Michael Mohan. The film is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.