Review: The Woman in the Window (2021)

The Woman in the Window (2021)

Directed by: Joe Wright | 100 minutes | crime, drama | Actors: Amy Adams, Anthony Mackie, Fred Hechinger, Wyatt Russell, Gary Oldman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tracy Letts, Brian Tyree Henry, Julianne Moore, Jeanine Serralles, Mariah Bozeman, Liza Colón-Zayas, Anna Cameron, Ben Davis, Rand Guerrero

Child psychologist Anna Fox (Amy Adams) suffers from agoraphobia, a severe form of agoraphobia. From behind her windows she secretly studies her neighbors and seems to be aware of everything that goes on around her house. However, everything changes when one night she witnesses a horrific act of violence that will leave no one safe, even behind closed doors.

‘The Woman in the Window’ is a mystery thriller based on AJ Finn’s novel of the same name. ‘The Woman in the Window’ fits perfectly into a list of films like ‘Secret Window’ and ‘The Girl on the Train’; also crime stories based on a book, in which you as a viewer constantly try to figure out how the fork is. Who’s crazy: the main character, the rest of the characters or maybe you yourself?

These stories often start with an unstable main character: a loner who locks himself in his or her house, drinks excessively in combination with medicines and has often experienced a traumatic event. You are regularly misled and from the beginning you are given clues that will play an important role later in the film. It’s like playing a game of Cluedo and trying to figure out who the killer is.

With ‘The Woman in the Window’, however, the clues are quite thick. The cat, a photo being taken, a flashback of a snowy sky and the skylight that is almost broken. It is clearly emphasized. Not necessarily a bad thing, as a viewer you also get a fair chance as a detective, but it shouldn’t be made too easy for you. At least you can feel a plot twist coming from miles away and that’s a shame, because plot twists work best when they come completely unexpectedly.

With ‘The Woman in the Window’, Joe Wright regularly refers to the classic film noir, which is characterized by a predominant feeling of melancholy, disappointment and paranoia and often has typical characters such as the cynical, lonely hero (the anti-hero) and the femme fatale. . He has given the film noir a modern twist, but manages to retain the classic beauty, like an antique painting. The careful lighting in particular contributes to this and regularly shows us shadows of which we do not know whether they show us the true nature of the person or just a shadow. Amy Adams is a femme fatale in its purest form; a natural beauty, but with a dark cast around her.

Wright’s message is clear: through fear you can create a terrible, limiting world. The question of whether Anna finally dares to take the step outside can therefore be answered in advance. ‘The Woman in the Window’ is entertaining and never boring, but the only thing you keep wondering is if you haven’t just seen the film before.

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