Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Rear Window Review

Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 psychological thriller accounts the experiences of L.B Jefferies (James Stewert), a magazine photographer wheelchair bound with a broken leg. He begins to start observing his range of diverse neighbours from his window cataloguing their movements and habits. Soon he becomes entanled in a murder case when suspicious actions on the behalf of his neighbour Mr Thorwald lead 'Jeff' to conclude he has murdered his wife and packed her boddy off in a crate.

The film deals with the human reactions to imobility, isolation and bordom. Though Jeff has occasional company from his insurance nurse Stella and also his girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly). Jeff even states himself that he has "nothing to do but look at the neighbours". Though the habit of spying starts small it begins to grow as more time passes. Jeff becomes engrosed in the lives of the other tenants because there is nothing to interest him in his own presently. At some places in the movie he becomes physically involved such as a scene where he is watching 'Miss Lonely Hearts' have dinner with an invisible guest, as she holds her glass up to toast her 'guest' Jeff' holds his own wine glass up to respond, even though she is not aware he is watching her.

The film also deals with the differences between the male and female mind when dealing with suspiction. Jeff is stubborn in his judgement. He is determined his suspicians about Thorwald are true where as Lisa begins by finding the middle ground the compramise to assure Jeff that what he saw was indeed strange but there must be a 'logical' explination. Later on Lisa does begin to agree with Jeff and by the end of the film she is even more determined that Jeff to prove Thorwalds guilt (by breaking into his apartment) this could show more of the male dominants to the film how the femal character changes her own initial views to agree with the man. The whole film is a fantastic example of use of 'the male gaze' through use of physical camera shots and levels and how the character of Lisa is portrayed through Jeff's eyes it is portraying the woman as an attractive comodity. (photos below)

The neighbours as characters mirror elements of Jeff's own life. The Thorwalds: Mr Thorwald is nursing his ill wife who is bedridden to reverse this Jeff is being nursed and helped by his girlfriend Lisa. A newly married couple move in to the audience their marriage appears happy and successful but this breaks down towards the end of the movie relaying Jeff's own insecurities about marriage to Lisa.

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