To Brownstein's credit, it takes a while to understand who serves as the film's protagonist. We follow a perpetually frustrated young woman who seems stuck in two different but equally toxic friendships. All three woman appear to have ample "issues," but the core problem is the aggressive passivity of the main character.
"Rachel" puts on the appearance of being a friend, but the truth is she seems more interested in the perversity of pushing her two friends to alarming limits by reacting in opposition to whatever the other two women say or do. A hiking trip turns into an absolute nightmare. Greta Gerwig's "Jennifer" is so immature that it is hard to decide which of the two women is more in the wrong. But by the time "Rachel" returns home to her roommate, Amy Judd's "Alice," it is clear that the problem lies with "Rachel."
There is no plot here. Very little actually even happens. However the film sparks an interest via the most minimal ways. The acting is naturalistic and often feels uncomfortably real. "Rachel" is indeed the component in her friendships that causes everything to rise and bud into ever worrying aggression.
Like its main character, "Yeast" is not an easily likable film. It is often a frustrating experience. And yet from a psychological perspective, this is a surprisingly potent study of an individual hellbent on making everyone around her miserable -- including herself. Of course this is the film's rub. Will "Rachel" ever realize that she is unhappy by her own doing or is she going to be forever in a state of agitation?
This movie chronicles a bitter falling out between friends. It's sometimes painful to watch as a young woman looses her two good friends on account of what seems to be her bossy personality. But it's hard not to feel for her too.
This is a great character study that definitely urges you to look beyond the surface. Yeast shows us that it's just as easy to love the ones who are closest to you as it is to hate them. Ultimately, it's worth checking out.