Rear Window (1954)

rearwindowHitchcock’s Rear Window, one of his most famous and, generally accepted, greatest films narrates a small segment of a photojournalist’s life, Jeff, who’s forced to use a wheelchair due to a broken leg. Unable to work and sustain the vigorous lifestyle he used to have up until the accident occurred, he begins observing his neighbours from the rear window. Suddenly, there comes a moment when he realises that in the house across the street, there’s been a murder…

With James Stewart, one of Hitchcock’s favourite actors, as the lead and Grace Kelly by his side, this is a mystery film with a lot more to tell than just the truth. At first, Jeff seems to observe his neighbours in order to escape from his boring everyday life but, gradually, we see his infatuation growing. He spends the biggest part of his day (and night) in front of the window, watching closely the lives of those living across. A born “voyeur”, if we consider his professionwe see how his need to sneak into other people’s lives is a part of his personal life too. In spite of his physiotherapist’s and his girlfriend’s comments on his inappropriate behaviour, he becomes even more passionate and seems to be sinking in the quicksand, unable to evade.

The leads relationship with his co-star is also of great interest. Seemingly blithe and naive Lisa, although gorgeous, doesn’t excite Jeff who’s constantly trying to discourage her and prove that the two of them belong to two totally different worlds and could never be together as a couple. He actually prefers spending his time with his observing objects rather than with his real girlfriend, revealing quite a dysfunctional character.

Besides from an amazing enigma, Rear Window is also an ode to scopophilia and a hint to the viewer, who’s enjoying the film seated in a comfortable chair, feeling safe in the darkness of the screening hall…

Oh, wait, what?

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★

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