Joe Wright, the director of this film, told the April 2021 issue of Total Film that he was reluctant, even refused to compare his latest film, ‘The Woman in the Window’, with Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 work ‘Rear Window’.
However, he admits that he often returns to Hitchcock’s films when he makes work. It looks so good. ‘The Woman in the Window’ a drama-thriller with criminal elements tells the story of a woman named Anna (Amy Adams).
She is a child psychologist who is also an agoraphobia survivor. Agoraphobia itself is a condition in which a person feels anxious, panicked, and helpless about a condition or situation. One day, he witnessed a heinous act committed by one of his neighbors who lived in the opposite house.
Hitchcock’s Visual Application
This material is presented in Hitchcock’s visual style. The mood is gloomy, then the film also plays with sound, things like this are applied by Joe in the film so that the audience can feel the tension slowly, aka creeping.
Unfortunately, the film can only be watched via streaming Netflix after previously canceling last year’s theatrical release due to the pandemic. Try to combine a soft color palette from the ornaments in Anna’s house. This adds to the beauty of the lush-looking shot. The camerawork is also great from cinematographer Bruno del Binel.
He knows when the film needs depth when the film needs something breaking. The problem is that even though Anna has agoraphobia, she lives in a fairly large house. Therefore, there are several cavernous shots that we can find in the film.
Then there are also transition shots that give a more or less identical feel. Not to forget, there are several shots whose images are displayed sideways. This kind of cinematography explicitly shows that something is not right.
There is a slanted, aka unbalanced in the life of the main character. This is also true, and Cilers has been given instructions about it from the beginning of the film until later as the story progresses.
Speaking of the beginning, the homage of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’ can also be seen clearly from the start. This also became one of the concerns when his novel written by AJ Finn was released in 2018. The set-up is very reminiscent of ‘Rear Window’, where the main character looks at the neighbors in the opposite house.
Then there are times when Anna tries to capture the situation with the camera, which could be something new. In a sense, this is the first time I have seen a child psychologist have an SLR camera complete with a tripod like a professional photographer.
In ‘Rear Window’, James Stewart plays a news photographer character, so he must have such tools. Lastly, there is also a snippet of the ‘Rear Window’ in the scene. Okay, is this good for the film? Visually, yes. ‘The Woman in the Window’ has mysterious yet beautiful crafting.
But if it’s more than that, it’s like a Hitchcock movie directed by someone else and it’s certainly something that should be avoided. Moreover, Joe himself said he was reluctant and thought more about the work of another director, Robert Bresson, in the film ‘A Man Escaped’ (1956) for this film.
Higher Expectations for Amy
Amy Adams looks good, but on the other hand, her character here can also be a stumbling block not to get any nominations in the award season, especially the Oscars, later.
Acting, he was able to show how struggling Anna’s character was. We can be excited to explore what this character has experienced, both in the past and present, until the end of the film.
Even so, playing the character of Anna is something that, in the words, it should be. So this is something to be expected and certainly not surprising when Amy Adams can carry it so well.
Will the good looks leave an impression? Not necessarily. Because from the beginning Anna has been like that and almost throughout the film we will be presented with that only. The journey that can provide development to the arc is not visible and of course, this is what we expect from a character played by an actress of the caliber of Amy Adams.
By the way, another award-winning actor, Gary Oldman, is also featured here playing a supporting character named Alistair Russell. Then Julianne Moore became his wife. Jennifer Jason Leigh will give us a surprise in the confrontation stage of the film.
Then the Marvel influence is also present through the two actors, who previously played together in the series ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Wyatt Russell and Anthony Mackie. Not to forget, there is Brian Tyree Henry who plays the detective.
Of all these characters, Wyatt Russell is arguably the most remembered for his role. He’s not just a resident of the rubble of Anna’s apartment. Gary and Julianne performed moderately but effectively.
Now what is interesting is Fred Hechinger, who plays Ethan Russell. He had been introduced in the preparation stage, then became one of the tools used to escalate the problem in the confrontation stage. But most attention is Ethan will play a role that is very important in the resolution phase.
The Strange End of a Complex Case
Throughout the film, we will play with the character of Anna and her perception. What he saw was sometimes contradicted by the assumptions of others who thought that Anna was not in a good condition.
Then at the beginning of the film, an exposition was given about him, the drugs he should take, and the effects of alcohol. Not to mention we will also be presented with important flashback scenes from Anna’s backstory. So it’s all from Anna’s perspective. How does he deal with the conflict he is currently facing with his current condition. This is gripping enough that it’s time for the resolution stage. Well, here we will see something very complex from what we have seen so far from the film’s story.
Regarding the character of Ethan, what is presented in the film does not work at all. When the film tries to expand its reach with clues that are in the confrontation stage, nothing at all refers to the character.
So when the time has come, we may frown. How come this is so? Confused because the planting is not fast enough. In addition, throughout the film, it is shown that there is goodwill that is conveyed from Anna and this goodwill is the link between the main character’s motivation and the case. What he experienced then resonates with what he is experiencing now.
Once again we are shown that visually captivating films are not enough. Whether it’s visual from the setting, cinematography, to acting. ‘The Woman in the Window’ pulls to a strange but true ending. What was hope turned out to be a merciless attack and of course this was something that was not expected.
How the film tells this part is not visible. What is more visible is how the film plays with the struggles of the main characters, then plays with Hitchcock-style visuals. It’s a dark turn, and no wonder Joe wants to make a movie that is kind and gentle, full of life and light that can give him hope after this.