What is the film about?
Anna Fox is confined to her home by her own mind. Her only company is her cat and the tenant that lives in her basement. From the beginning of the film, we are made aware that Anna has a family. They're separated but we are not told why. Instead, we are left to assume it's because of her illness. To pass the time, she watches life from her window; spying on her neighbours and collecting information about their lives. She shares her findings with her therapist who thinks her interest in others is a good sign. Things seem to be going well for Anna until she witnesses the murder of her neighbor, Jane Russell. The rest of the film follows Anna's fight to convince everyone that she actually saw Jane die.
Is it worth the watch?
To be frank, this film is not one to add to your extensive Netflix bucket list. I would rate 2.5/5 on the "must-watch" ranking. Woman In the Window is filmed in a way that is kind of disorientating and perhaps that is the point. We are meant to see the world through Anna's eyes after all, muddled by alcohol, narcotics and paranoia. However, the mode of storytelling is frustrating rather than entertaining for the better half of the film. It all pieces together well by the end of the film but not enough to overshadow how much time audiences spent in complete confusion.
Could it have been done better?
A number of reviews attribute the muddled narration to the film's attempt to stay faithful to the book. However, I think that could have been achieved without risking the audience's ability to follow the storyline. The exact same story could have been told but it needed to be filmed differently. If we are meant to see the world through Anna's eyes, why serve us dizzying visuals before she is fully conscious of how warped her mind is? Clearer visuals in the first quarter of the film would make it more palatable to viewers. Then, transitioning into the the darker lighting and blotchy images would have been natural after we are made to realize that she is sicker than she lets on.
Overall the plot of the film was interesting. The film was also well casted. It was fun to go in unsuspecting and be greeted by familiar faces and voices. I just wish it was all presented better, in a way that didn't make my frown at my tv trying to make sense of what I was seeing.