The woman in the window might be crazy, but she’s absolutely scared
Netflix’s latest movie “The Woman in the Window,” directed by the outstanding Joe Wright (Atonement, Darkest Hour, usually a high-end operator), stars the beautiful actress Amy Adams, who proved herself to be exceptional in English cinema. Is this enough though to expect a great movie? I don’t know about you, but for me, it was quite promising, and I’ve been impatiently waiting for the movie.
Many Arabs agree with me, as the movie ranks 3rd in Netflix’s top 10 list in the Middle East, as I write this article.
A camera snipping inside your head
The movie starts with a dark screen smudged with white dots. Anna Fox, a child psychiatrist who has agoraphobia (the fear of pace and inability to leave the house), opens her eyes and you can see the fear inside them. The smudged darkness was her dream.
The camera blinks in one corner of Anna’s house, lightened by the yellowish sleepy sun of the afternoon, and then it moves around the empty, quiet, and lifeless house.
The way the camera moves around Anna, focusing on her face and body language, shows a lot about what she feels, what she thinks, and what she doesn’t understand.
She drowns deep in her disorders while mixing her medications with alcohol, and spends most of her nights watching old movies (especially Rear window). She is a woman tangled in her sadness, and is losing control over her sanity.
Netflix shows the world through the eyes of the crazy woman in the window
Anna is in the center of the action. You can feel that everything happening in the movie is experienced through her troubled mind. You see the world through the eyes of a woman losing her sanity.
Anna’s sessions with her psychiatrist sound like a monologue when the smart psychologist fights for a moment of clarity, doubting her thoughts in the face of the screaming voice of insanity. Is this real? Are these hallucinations? Is this reality, or is it stemming from my mental disease?
She observes a new family move into the house opposite them: a sweet teenage son, an affable blonde mother, and a coolly patrician father. And then, she hears a scream. Then comes out a knife. Fighting her phobias, Anna tries to help, but the more she tries to prove what she saw, the more the world sounds less sane to her. All parties are fighting against her version of reality, even her psychiatrist.
A moment of clarity in the middle of confusion
During some moments of silence, she doubts herself, feels a breeze of clarity, and remembers her dead family and the awful accident that took them from her. The same family that she never called dead in the movie, and emphasized “I am still married, but we are just separated.”
These moments of clarity involve us – the audience – where we can see glances of the past that explain Anna’s storm of confusion in the present. Unfortunately, these moments of clarity are so few.
The woman in the window has many versions of the same reality
You can see the characters around Anna transforming. In specific scenes, David, the guy who rents her basement, sounds like a very sweet young man, but in others, he has a frightening appearance with a darker face. It’s as if he isn’t the same person. The characters around Anna feel so natural sometimes, but feel fabricated and theatrical at other moments, as if they’re acting in a really bad, old movie. Which makes you think, who are these people? Are they real? Or is this how Anna is seeing it in this specific moment?
The movie could have been the perfect journey in a diseased woman’s mentality, until we hit the end.
The woman in the window deserved a better end
(Warning: spoilers ahead)
The end suggests that Anna was a victim of a very complicated and well-fabricated conspiracy, carried out by the sweet teenage neighbor who she was trying to help throughout the course of the movie.
I don’t think the movie was heading in this direction, because it doesn’t make sense. The movie was diving deeply into Anna’s disease, and was originally intended to end with Anna losing her sanity and attachment to reality. But, Netflix didn’t want the ending to be so dark and scary. Instead, they fabricated this ridiculous ending, thinking it’ll be more appealing to the audience.
Is the woman in the window worth watching?
Yes, absolutely. If you’re a fan of conspiracy plots with a happy ending, you’ll love the movie. If you’re a fan of mind-bending movies, then just ignore the ending, and enjoy the rest of the movie as I did.