The first film, Through My Window, a Spanish Netflix original, was all about the glorification of a toxic relationship. The same team brings you the sequel, Across the Sea, which is a continuation of previous film. Unfortunately, the latest instalment, just like the previous one, does not serve the genre it is based on. Director Marçal Forés brings you the same cast with a lot of soapy drama thrown into the mix.
Through My Window: Across the Sea is as literal as the name suggests because the film is set on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, where the friends and family of Raquel and Ares descend to celebrate the San Juan festival. Amidst all of this, the once hot and heavy couple is now in a long-distance relationship. With Ares studying medicine in Stockholm and Raquel studying literature in Barcelona, there is trouble in paradise because they end up spending most of the time on the phone, and their studies keep them occupied. In the hope of making things right between the two, Ares comes back to town, but is making the relationship work the only reason for his return, or does he want to find out if Raquel has moved on?
As wafer thin as this screenplay is, the story is convoluted as the writer Eduard Sola jams in plenty of subplots in this almost two-hour-long movie that does not serve any purpose because the narrative shifts away from the steamy romance to concentrate more on the friendship. The flip that the narrative makes does not make sense because halfway through the film, the viewers are introduced to a few new characters in the hope they will bring something to the table. By the end of Across the Sea, none of these characters had anything to offer. If the writer had no plans to close the arc, why did he have to introduce it in the first place? The writing is vanilla and predictable, and the addition of conflicts just for the sake of it makes the viewing experience frustrating. Adding storylines about infidelity and trust issues could have been made more complex by giving layers to the actual mistakes and the characters. But the result of these aspects in the film turns out to be so black and white.
The writers could have worked on just the three brothers and their parents instead of bringing in more people to this party, which led to them adding many unnecessary scenes. By this, we mean the many scenes that only had men and women getting physically intimate with each other. These scenes would have made sense if they had taken the narrative forward. Here, the unadulterated intimate sequences are just there to grab the attention of the audience. There is one entire sequence in the film regarding ice cream that is highly suggestive, uncomfortable, and needless. The film, though, brings up the subject of class difference, which is prominent amongst the elite in Europe, and how they are averse to having people from the working class be a part of their circle. The subject was broached, but not explored enough to cause a conflict.
The direction seemed good in the beginning because the screenplay, at a certain point, felt it would head in the right direction, and it might just turn out to be better than the first film. Marçal Forés’s direction, quite early in the film, got deeply affected by the case of a scattered screenplay. It lost its mojo, and there was no recovery from there. The climax event came as a shock, but it happened so quickly that there was no time to understand why it had to happen. It seems that was only done to give the audience a jolt because, as uninteresting as the movie was at that point, this incident in the film would wake them up from their boredom. The movie ended in an odd fashion that left a message about friendship. The writers did not have any idea how to conclude this installment in the series, which is based on the books of the same name by Ariana Godoy. There is an elaborate post-credit sequence that includes scenes from the third film in the series. We are not sure who is waiting for this one after Across the Sea, which has been nothing but an absolute letdown.
The sound design of the film felt a tad off throughout. The soundtrack throughout the film was catchy for those who love to get their hands on interesting songs for their playlists. The cinematography by Marc Miró is eye-pleasing. After losing interest in the narrative of the film, watching the long shots of the Mediterranean Sea and coastal Spain along with the sparkling waters is a vision to behold.
Across the Sea would make you want to pack your bags and head to this region to soak up the gorgeous sun and feel the sparkling sea water. This is the only aspect that made the movie’s viewing experience worth the time spent on it. Through My Window films ended up becoming a PSA for Spain tourism. Maybe this is why people end up watching movies such as this. They can compile a list of must-visit places and explore the exotic regions of coastal Europe. This is the only purpose that the film serves.
The performances of every actor, including the lead, are mediocre. All of them might be good actors, but the arc given to them does not match their talent to bring out the emotions required. There is only one scene at the end where Clara Galle, as Raquel, delivers an emotional performance, and that credit can only be given to the actor. The Timothee Chalamet doppelganger, Guillermo Lasheras, as Yoshi, Raquel’s best friend, was a character that had some layers, and the actor was trying to play around with it, but sadly, his arc was not handled well. The rest of the cast is little more than good to look at while they strut around in the most fashionable clothes.
Overall, the film only works if you have two hours to spare to look at beautiful-looking rich people who jump from one home to another, island to island, on their private yacht, and worry about their relationship problems, which could be solved only if they communicated them with their partner in the right way and at the right time. It does sound like a truckload of first-world problems. We urge you to skip this movie.