Koimoi Recommends The Neighbors’ Window: Humans are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Unknowingly one completes a picture and sometimes are not even aware of their contribution in affecting someone’s life positively or negatively. Simultaneously, the human tendency also makes us compare ourselves to others and crib about the things we don’t have anymore. Do the humans on the other side do the same? Are we the prominent ones in their eyes? Today on Koimoi Recommends, I recommend Marshall Curry’s Oscar-winning short film The Neighbors’ Window, a film that will make you live your life without cribbing about what you don’t have.
Director: Marshall Curry
Available on: YouTube
Adapted from Diane Weipert’s real-life short story, The Neighbors’ Window is about a mid-aged couple all set to welcome their third child. Their life is tossed upside down when a couple in their 20 somethings move into an apartment across the street, and their window becomes a gateway to their happening lives. But is it really that happening? The movie FYI went on to win Oscar in the Best Short Film Category.
The unwritten, unsaid and (il)legal permission for us is as much as a window allows to peep into someone’s house. We are aware only of the boundaries of the space visible from it, nothing more than that. When Alli and her husband one evening sit down to sip some wine, their chance encounter with their new neighbours across the street makes them realise the lack of action in their lives. This makes them indulge in voyeurism. Not even once in the initial conversation do they mention that they have been in the game, and the couple across has just started. This creates a mess.
Marshall Curry’s The Neighbors’ Window is a metaphorical and, sadly, a real-life story of how humans are affected by humans in various ways and sometimes without even knowing. The film makes many valid points, one of which is undoubtedly breaking the monotony of life. Alli, who defines this beautiful couple as “They are like a crash car you can’t look away from. Okay, a beautiful sexy car crash,” is intrigued by them. A binocular is always handy so that she can see them. Diane and Marshall both carefully portray the breaking of monotony in Alli’s life without saying it out.
For years, this woman has been in the service to her children, and the monotony of it all has sucked her in until the neighbours arrive. It is the breaking of this monotony that makes Alli restless rather than the neighbours partying, or having s*x with their perfect bodies almost every day. But she could not figure that out just like all of us.
The camera works big time here. The neighbour couple’s partying scene is being looked at by Alli, who is feeding her child. A contradiction that speaks lengths. But what happens when the gap between the two windows is bridged? Is the life of the ‘hot’ couple really happening? We meet them close in sad circumstances and I won’t kill that for you.
Marshall Curry with The Neighbor’s Window is making a valid commentary on the human nature of comparing ourselves to others. He makes the comparison and jealousy clear when Alli defines her deformed nipples due to breastfeeding or when she peeps with the binoculars at odd hours in the night. Curry doesn’t even bother naming others in the whole film, or even define what they do. Do we really know details about the people we stalk? We don’t and Curry does just that.
Watch The Neighbor’s Window to see how interconnected our race is. Watch it to know how breaking monotony can make us restless. But most prominently, watch it to understand what comparison and jealousy can do to your mind.
Watch The Neighbors’Window Right Here: