Saturday, April 11, 2015

A short rant about Open Windows (2014)

While I’m usually all for weirdness, Nacho Vigalondo’s hacker bullshit/unlucky stalking thriller really does little for me except to cause annoyance. Vigalondo films the whole affair with a showy real time/everything we see takes place on a laptop monitor POV gimmick that would probably work better if it were a) used in a script that seems less like it was written by a hyperactive kid that needs a twist a second, never mind if said twist makes sense or actually fits what the film has been about for the last five minutes, and b) would stay at least vaguely in the realm of the believable (no need to drag out the possible for me but even I have my standards).

A lot of Open Windows is a series of missed chances: a plot that could say interesting things about the idea of celebrity in the Internet age, or about obsession, or about fandom really contents itself with functioning as a random twist delivery machine; a director with huge technical chops and a decent acting ensemble preferring to make a film that isn’t actually about anything, because TWISTS, and so on, and so forth, in a truly dispiriting presentation of emotional and intellectual emptiness by people who could oh so very obviously do so much better.

Now, as regular readers will know, I’d be all too willing to overlook a lot of Open Windows’ problems and enjoy its implausible plot, ignore the fact that nobody involved seems to have any idea about how hacking works (or really technology at large), or the entertainment industry (which is absurd, given that this is a product of said industry, but there you have it), or internet fandom, or human psychology, or even just windows on what must be the most humungous laptop screen known to humanity. If, and there’s the rub, there were anything about the film apart from empty posturing, like some core of obsession, or an attempt to get at truths you couldn’t get at with a more realist or believable approach, or even just weirdness that doesn’t just feel as if it were in the movie because it would take effort to actually come up with plot twists that make sense.

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