Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Why Haven't I Seen That?: REAR WINDOW

Welcome to a new installment of WHY HAVEN’T I SEEN THAT?, where we talk about a must-see or iconic film that we have never seen… until now. This week we take a look at the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock classic REAR WINDOW. Enjoy!

Rear Window is a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock about an injured photographer who spends his time spying on his neighbours. Alfred Hitchcock is a very special director, the kind that can take a very simple premise and craft it in a way that it becomes incredibly original and interesting. This film is a very good example of that feat. I genuinely felt that the premise of the film was rather uninteresting, I believed it would be good because Hitchcock was directing, however if I didn’t know who he was I might not have seen it.

The film is anything but uninteresting. Hitchcock presents the neighbours through a chaotic set of information. You feel like you are sitting next to Jeff, played by James Stewart, watching them because the camera never rests at one neighbour for more than half a minute. Almost as if you are trying to find something interesting amidst the chaos yourself. The film slowly moves from its chaotic nature to a more focused one. This also correctly parallels Jeff's mind as well. He starts off like an injured wolf who doesn’t enjoy his situation, to one who believes that he has found a murder case in his own backyard.

I think what the film really also excels at is the ability to portray two sides to Jeff’s life, then blend them together. One being his personal relationships which consists of Lisa Carol Fremont, played by Grace Kelly, who is someone that is sort of lover of his and Stella, played by Thelma Ritter, who is his insurance company’s nurse. Second being the case and by extension his work life. The film carefully starts both stories at odds and in the perspective of Jeff’s personal life almost getting in the way, to them really clashing together.

I think the film is very clever in how it blends all the different threads. Its setup and payoff of information is emotionally satisfying, and how the film keeps out smarting you as a viewer keeps you engaged. It’s not my favourite Hitchcock film, but it’s definitely in the top three. It’s a film that I believe all film fans need to watch.

Khizer's Score: 10/10

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