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Twisting the reality

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Amy Adams of ‘Superman’ fame plays Anna Fox in the psychological thriller ‘The Woman in the Window’ based on the novel by A J Finn. The movie is directed by Joe Wright who did ‘Darkest Hour’ in 2017.

The whole movie is done in a grim setup that suits the plot and many frames are shot from inside a lone Anna Fox’s residence since agoraphobia prevents her from stepping outside her home.

The cause for Anna’s agoraphobic mental condition is a car accident which killed her husband and the little daughter. From that day onwards Anna becomes mentally unbalanced. She thinks she converses over the phone on daily basis with her deceased husband as a routine. Anna is on medication but she consumes alcohol (wine to be precise) despite her doctor’s advice. In this context Anna witnesses through her window a real-life gruesome murder happening within the Russell family in the opposite apartment across the street. Yet her doctor or the hefty detective (Mr Little) do not believe her as she is agoraphobic and also boozy. Russell’s teenage son Ethen who befriends Anna happens to be a serial killer. Anna while struggling with her illness tries desperately to prove what she witnessed is not a delusion or a hallucination but a daylight murder.

As a psychological thriller the movie has some serious flaws. Anna is a child psychologist but her behavior towards little children is questionable. Though she repeatedly says (in dialogues) she is concerned about children’s wellbeing her response towards the little children who come to her doorstep on Halloween day was different. Likewise, credibility of the storyline is hampered often. However, the director cannot take the blame as the plot is woven around a book written by someone else.

Anna witnesses Mrs Russell being stabbed to death from her apartment. But eventually Mr Russell turning up at the frantic Anna’s house with another lady that he claims to be his wife and the police without any doubt believing in him is confusing. (All these are flaws in A J Finn’s novel and not the film director’s blunders). “Where is the other woman? What is the authenticity of the new woman?’, would be the questions popping up in a viewer’s mind. The policewoman’s preoccupation with Anna’s agoraphobic condition and the similarly ignorant detective who always ignore what Anna declares are very comfortable with Mr Russell’s affirmations. However, the culprit is finally exposed by an agoraphobic Anna.

Amy Adams as Anna brings about a superb performance to depict the state of mind of a mentally disturbed psychologist who is torn between reality and illusoriness. Though with a wasted look, her facial expressions in the movie are far beyond average and it shows the versatility of a trained actor. Amy Adams projects a child psychologist who develops an agoraphobic condition best to her ability which is very credible.

Anna’s kitty named Punch and her tenant David play vital roles in the movie. David being a happy-go-lucky songwriter and a handyman often shocks Anna with his playful acts which would have worked as a ‘shock treatment’ for this agoraphobic lady to overcome her sickness. Punch as an adorable and cuddly pet soothes Anna’s mind with its presence which any psychiatrist would approve.

Is Anna a delusional stalker or does she talk sense? All-in-all ‘The Woman in the Window’ could be described as a movie that would interest viewers.

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