An important job opportunity that occurred to Francis, Romanian on his mother’s side, involves his transfer from the United States to a B&B in Bucharest, together with his handsome wife Julia. Alone in her room all day and surrounded by huge windows, Julia begins to develop a growing paranoia: she feels constantly observed by a man who lives in the building opposite her and who always seems to be at the window. Francis minimizes Julia’s fears, sharing his skepticism with colleagues and distancing himself from his wife, with whom he empathizes less and less.
If it seems to you that you have seen the story told by Watcher many more times, know that this is not a coincidence.
Watcher does not try to amaze at every step, he knows he is walking along worn tracks. Director Chloe Okuno is perfectly aware of the fact that similar situations have been proposed several times on the big screen. Indeed, familiarity with this imagery and with the stereotypes that accompany it are an integral part of the experience of involvement and confrontation that the director establishes with the public. An interaction through the fourth wall destined to make us feel spectators, curious, voyeurs and ultimately guilty of what will happen.
To help the interpretative process hatched by Okuno is the choice of setting the story in Bucharest, an ideal city to convey anxiety and discomfort thanks to its brutalist architecture. Romanian cinema has often resorted to this side of the capital – think of Radu Jude’s Unfortunate Sex or Porn Madness – but Okuno adds the linguistic element of the foreigner catapulted into a hostile place, isolated from the language used as well as from habits and customs. peculiar. In this sense, Watcher is even closer to the atmospheres of Roman Polanski (The tenant of the third floor or Repulsion on the thriller front, Frantic on the idiomatic one), an evident reference model for the setting of a personal odyssey, inexorably headed towards the deflagration.
The touch of contemporaneity is determined by the feminist and feminist point of view with which the story is told, aimed at making people understand what it means to continuously receive unsolicited attention. Gallantry thus turns into annoyance, a waste of the past, tiring at best and annoying at worst.