'Windfall' Review: Netflix Hitchcockian thriller is compelling and peak cinema
The thriller genre is one of the most bankable genres in Hollywood. If the script has enough twists and turns to keep viewers at the edge of their seats, then the movie will definitely turn out to be a hit. One film that will surely keep you glued to your screens is ‘Windfall’, a Netflix thriller movie directed by Charlie McDowell. It was undoubtedly one of the most highly-anticipated releases of the year and now that it has finally been released on the world’s leading platform, it’s time to know if the movie has enough juice for viewers or not.
The movie revolves around a man (Jason Segel) who has broken into the vacation home of a tech billionaire. He has taken the money and some valuable things from the house and is ready to leave. However, as soon as he decides to leave, he sees that the CEO (Jesse Plemons) and his wife (Lily Collins) have suddenly popped up there to enjoy some quality time. The man tries to flee, but the wife sees her and what happens next is an exciting tale of three women who are similar in more than one way.
If you are a fan of mystery movies where you don’t need to know about the background of characters or what they have done in the past, then this movie is perfect for you. It doesn’t get carried away from the source material and sticks to the plot where the robber needs money to start a new life while the couple needs some time to mend their married life.
The best thing about the movie is the somber setting and how it manages to create an atmosphere where you feel a bit claustrophobic even though the setting doesn’t seem to be like that. One of the strongest points of the movie is the crisp writing. The screenplay by Justin Lader and Andrew Kevin Walker is amazing and keeps you hooked. Also, there are times when you start wondering if this will have a happy ending or not and that’s where the movie excels.
The cinematography is top-notch and McDowell has used the setting brilliantly.
As far as acting is concerned, Jesse Plemons knocks it out of the park with another extraordinary performance. His witty one-liners are the real highlight, but whenever he is on the screen, he wins you over with his persona. He is considered to be the next big thing in Hollywood and I believe, he has already established himself as one of the elite lead actors.
On the other hand, Lily Collins stuns everyone with a performance that is somber and shows her true potential as an actor. She mesmerized everyone in ‘Emily in Paris’, but this role is exactly the opposite and she delivers a performance that seems effortless. Also, the ending to her character might force you to stand up and applaud her. However, it will shock you as well.
Meanwhile, Jason Segel, who is also responsible for writing the story for the movie, has given a career-defining performance in the movie. Yes, he is known for his amazing role in How I Met Your Mother’, but he undoubtedly shatters all the barriers with his role in ‘Windfall’. The trio has done a phenomenal job in taking the movie to a whole new level and viewers will undoubtedly love the disturbingly eerie tension between them.
The film seems to have come out of the restrictions of shooting at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first 8 minutes, the movie doesn’t feature a single dialogue and it’s still interesting to look at something that feels so safe yet so claustrophobic. The overall tone of the movie is like a Hitchcockian thriller and the only time a camera moves in the movie is when an actor moves. Even then, you are not bored and do not feel tiresome. It’s because how beautifully this movie has been crafted and shot.
‘Windfall’ will enthrall you with its mysterious setting and brilliant performances. It will take you on a ride that’s thrilling, disturbing, and absorbing. Personally, it is one of the best mystery thriller movies I have seen in recent years and surely deserves to be viewed.
It's a beautifully crafted movie filled with really sharp social commentary and brilliant acting.
Windfall' is currently streaming on Netflix.