Type: Review
Pages: 3 | Words: 891
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

The plot of the film “Rear Window” by Alfred Hitchcock (1954) seems rather simple at the first glimpse. A free-spirit, adventure loving photojournalist gets his leg broken. Being stuck, he is suppressed by the walls at his small stuffing apartment; he has to spend six weeks in a wheelchair. Handicapped, he in unable to perform any job, he gets nothing to do than look through the window. In between the short visits of the nurse who takes care of him and his lady-friend, his, at first, innocent activity of looking through the window literally turns later into an obsessive voyeurism. Digging a little bit deeper into the plot of the film, one can discover much more behind the scene and the relationship of the characters that tells the details which are not seen with the naked eye. This paper focuses on the relationship of Jeff and Lisa and analyzes the film “Rear window” through the prism of the connection between the neighbors in one way or another. It also traces the parallel between Jeff’s handicap and its symbol in the romance with Lisa. Last, this paper will analyze the change of the relationship between Jeff and Lisa while sharing the common activity of peeking into other people’s windows.

First, being locked up inside of four walls, Jeff’s view goes out on the same four walls, yet of a bigger scale. This setting of the film represents the four walls of possible outcomes of the lives of Jeff and Lisa in one way or another. It is as if Jeff is visualizing his romance with Lisa, thinking through his further steps in this relationship. At first, he sees the couple with a dog, which depicts how uneventful his life can get. Jeff is discontented with such outcome as he likes taking risks, adventures, and is surely not ready to settle down with a woman who gets excited with a new dress and a lobster dinner. The salesman and his wife are the opposite of Jeff and Lisa as the salesman takes care of his sick wife who is never content with anything, what Lisa does for Jeff. Jeff associates the dancer with Lisa telling her that she might be not ready to settle for such a man as him. Later, he finds out that the dancer had been disregarding all the possible cavaliers, because she was waiting for her childlike, awkward, yet her very own sweetheart. The musician and the spinster portray the two lonely hearts, which have found each other in a mutual love to music, just like Jeff and Lisa have been reconciled through the common activity of peaking. Further in the story, Jeff notes the newlywed couple, which indicates him that after all, he and Lisa might be great together.

However, what stops Jeff from making a decision to marry a perfectly good lady as Lisa is the feeling that he might have to give up a lot of his own personality. He feels bound to Lisa and envisions her as being limited in many ways. His handicap is a symbol of the limitedness of this relationship. Through the film, this handicap has caused him nothing more than total discomfort. Being a photojournalist who gets his shots done under the most amazing circumstances, he is a type of a person who has to be active, move a lot, travel, and pursue the job under the most unthinkable circumstances. Breaking alone leg mirrors settling down with a woman, he is sort of able to move, yet has limited access to his potential. Therefore, he feels bored in his apartment. However, his opinion changes throughout the film.

Third, the same parallel can be traced in the obsession to voyeurism: at first, Jeff is just an observer, then he gets excited; at last, he becomes completely obsessed and even gets intruded into his observations. As time passes and it gets closer to take off the cast, the relationship of Jeff and Lisa progresses as well. At first, Lisa only comes for short uneventful visits to talk, where Jeff does not share much of him enjoying peeking into other people’s houses. After some time, Lisa stays for longer and often shares Jeff’s pleasure to look through the window helping him to solve the case of the salesman and his wife. The last night of the cast represents the culminating moment in the case of salesman and his wife and the relationship of Lisa and Jeff. This night, Jeff sees how completely they both are being endeavored by a common activity, and how they complete each other. The next scene after the night where the crime was solved represents Jeff with cast on both legs, which illuminates the final decision to being bound to Lisa.

To conclude, the film “Rear Window” envisions the human relationships through the pleasure of watching someone else observing others. Such approach is used to portray the vicious circle of the similarity of the human relationships, nevertheless illuminating its differences. This film has depicted the growth of Jeff’s consciousness regarding his affectionate feelings and romance. After all, observing the relationship of other people, he concludes many new things for himself. At the end, the symbolism of Jeff’s handicap, which also represents his relationship with Lisa, had brought him boredom and unpleasant feelings, but after all had become familiar, close, and even pleasant to him.

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