The title is a monochromatic mirror image. The Woman In The Window could be our heroine peeking into the home across the street. Or it could be the woman from across the street whom our heroine sees being brutally killed …or does she? There is a fascinating duality of reality in this dark thriller where everything seems bleak, unforgiving and nihilistic. None more so than our heroine Anna (Amy Adams), so washed out, so out of it, so agoraphobic, you wonder how on earth she has survived so long!
The answers, when they come, often shock. At other times, the explanations (there’s way too much of it) just seem so unconvincing, and unnecessary that you want to tell director Jo Wright to please stop. We are on it. Amy Adams’ representation of emotional bleakness is vivid and frightening. I did initially wonder why she lives all alone in a dungeon-like home in Manhattan when considering her circumstances a nice two-bedroom cosy apartment would have served her purpose far better. But then I soon realized the house with its haunted-down dispirited atmosphere of doom is representative of her state of mind.
Amy Adams’ Anna is a wreck. And the unforgiving script and the dark cinematography do not attempt to prettify her plight. As the narrative, gripping mostly sagging now and then, progress Anna slips deeper into the mire of her melancholia which slashes into her soul leaving her lacerated in places where we cannot see. Oh yes, she gets brutally slashed on her face too. In the end, The Woman In The Window lapses into a slasher film with the killer chasing her from the basement of her Gothic home to its rain splashed rooftop.
I must say I was riveted to the end. The performances are over-the-top because that is what this hyper-kinetic plot needs. This is a story of people in impossibly terrifying crises, bending crawling and grovelling to a pitiable end. While Amy Adams holds the proceedings together with her wonderfully wobbly wandering woman act, other stalwarts like Gray Oldman and Julianne Moore pitch in with high-pitched performances that go a long way in chasing the frenzied mood to its blood-splattered finale.
Julianne is delightful in her one lengthy girlie chat sequence with Amy Adams over wine, while another celebrated actress Jennifer Jason Leigh (remember her in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful8?) is wasted in a part that begs for elaboration. Oh and the Falcon & Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie makes a flash appearance as Amy Adams’ husband.
In the end, we see Amy bruised battled and scarred leaving her cavernous home. No, there are ghosts in the house. Only the memories of scars so brutal and scary they will make you thankful for the gift of family during these times of pandemic isolation.
Directed by Joe Wright The Woman In The Window gets 3 stars!
Image Source: Instagram/womaninthewindow, youtube/netflix, posterspy
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