Note: Watcher''s main theme is not the threat of violence, but the apathy of those who await it. This is the prevailing effect of the unsettling and arresting feature debut Watcher from writer-director Chloe Okuno this Friday. It is a lean, mean, and tense experience that marks the arrival of a new, vibrant directorial voice. It is a precise and methodical film, with an all-time strong sense of pride, and it develops in the dark future
Julia, a former actress who has just moved to Bucharest where he has gotten a job, is suddenly shocked when she discovers that she is being watched by a shady stranger from across the street. It''s difficult to imagine that Julia, as a child, is unable to get her to see the movies, which she believes is behind. Even when she tries to take her mind off by going to the movies, which she notably plays in the 1963 stalker film Charade, she discovers
As she attempts to convince everyone who isn''t okay, everything goes ignored. Even her boyfriend ignoring and humbles her, bringing an experience that rucks up the tension along with the frustration as we attempt to shout at the screen for the characters to realize the danger. However, everyone around Julia creates a narrative that can erase the seemingly bleak sequence of events.
When you tried to hide in the back, a man approached you. It''s clear that no matter how unusual and cruel such reductive statements become, they just keep coming. This is a clear example of gaslighting, although even the latter does feel like enough of a descriptor as the film becomes a source of disbelief that threatens us along with Julia.
When we see serial killers, we prefer to see them as talented masterminds who are capable of dealing with failure because of their superior intellect. How else would they be successful if they were to avoid accountability for so long? The fact that everything Julia is experiencing in Watcher is genuine, doesnt cheapen the experience. When there is no big puzzle or mystery to solve, it becomes clear that the killer was who we thought it was all along and he was still capable of escape.
Julia was successful in discovering down to the danger down to the very person who is killing women. Yet she still has to face them off alone, an unplanned situation that might have been avoided sooner than anyone else. That''s why she went into the hall for the first time, making us feel more sorry for the outcome, as a result of the fact that she had all of it.
The fiction''s predictive potential is not a bug, but a feature. It shows how the real fear comes from others'' ambivalence. It exposes the complicity of those who actively choose not to believe people even when the truth appears to be shining in the face. The film''s last act is to misunderstand what happened. The truth is that when you reflect on it.
The delicate pan around a corner to demonstrate the consequences of this ignorance is not about the spectacle of it, but rather about the reality we were aware of and a fearsome frankness. Although there are certainly films that work when they pull the rug out from under us, Watcher succeeds by throwing us on the floor from the opening moments while having everyone pretend we are still standing and that everything is fine. It creates an unnervingly effective experience that draws out every ounce of tension possible in its abundantly simple story.