Has your mind ever played tricks on you?
You know, like you connect with a lady who looks like Juliana Kanyomozi online only to meet her in person and realize she’s Patrick Kanyomozi instead?!?
Or maybe you talked to this guy who sounded like Denzel Washington over the phone, only to set up a date with him and realize the only thing he has in common with Denzel is “Flight”.
No, not the movie…but how fast you wish to take flight after you’ve met him!
“The Woman in the Window” plays to such confusion.
Its aspiration towards being a psychological thriller comes as close to fulfillment as Ssemujju did in trying to become the Speaker of the 11th parliament.
But let’s get to the story.
It’s about a lady who never leaves her Manhattan brownstone, she’s a shut-in.
In her ensconced existence, she witnesses a murder across the street.
Well, she thinks she has.
The Woman in the Window is Anna Fox (Amy Adams).
She’s a child psychologist who has suffered the kind of mental breakdown every Ugandan suffers each time Gen. Jeje Odong’s bleached image shows up on our TV screens.
Anna has cocooned herself away from the world as she pops prescription drugs, washed down by red wine. No, not Romi’s wine; something less ghetto.
At any rate, it’s a bad combination: like Gen. Jeje and his Donald Trump-spent-too-much-time-in-Pelosi’s-oven skin tone.
For drugs and booze only intensify her self-imposed isolation to make fuzzy the thinning line between fantasy and reality in her life.
She seems to increasingly lose touch with the latter. You could even say that Anna Fox is Crazy like a Fox.
Her shrink (yeah, a shrink with a shrink) Dr. Landy (Tracy Letts) tells her not to make light of suicide since she almost killed herself.
So joking about it would be as distasteful as Osama bin Laden praising his followers as “Da Bomb.”
“Tell me to go outside,” Anna begs her ex-husband Ed Fox (Anthony Mackie) as they catch up over the phone.
To which he responds, “Why not make today the day you go outside?”
However she suffers from agoraphobia (fear of open or crowded spaces), so she will only go outside if outside mirrors her lonely living room; made lonelier by the indigo-fuscia visual tones emphasizing its cavernous desolation.
There’s a family, the Russell family, which has moved in across the street. And Anna does bird impression by watching them like a hawk…from her window, of course.
“I can see your house from my room,” says the Russells’ teenage son, Ethan (Fred Hechinger) when he visits her.
There’s something creepy about this kid from the start, like he knows where Jimmy Hoffa and Ben Kiwanuka were buried but is not ready to tell.
Julianne Moore, who plays his mother Jane Russell, is a strawberry blonde burst of energy whose quirky manner betrays the restless nature of a junkie craving a fix.
“Oh, you’re a shrink? That’s a twist!” she laughs as her and Anna share a bottle of red.
She’s edgy, exciting and so drop-dead gorgeous that she induces a “WTF” when you realize that she’s married to Alistair Russell (Gary Oldman); who seals her drop-dead gorgeous credentials by killing her!
Anna believes she’s witnessed this murder, but then Alistair shows up with the police at her house, claiming harassment by her.
And, to thicken the plot, Alistair shows up with his wife Jane Russell…who’s played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, and not Julianne Moore!
She’s blonde too, but unlike Julianne’s Jane Russell, she’s the proverbial Plain Jane.
So who was that other woman? You know, the one played by Julianne Moore who Anna saw being murdered?
Anna’s downstairs tenant, a hippy-dippy singer-songwriter David (Wyatt Russell) is introduced to heighten the mystery.
But he only manages to help shape the anticlimax this movie becomes by trying to string too many subplots together into a straightjacket, where Anna belongs, and this movie’s quality is restricted by.