Spanish Netflix originals for a while have tended to indulge in relationship-based stories because sometimes the audiences do not wish to indulge in Avant Garde storytelling that undermines their expectations. They would want to watch something that allows them to sit back, relax, and enjoy. Why is that? No one knows. Through My Window is yet another young adult movie on the above-mentioned romance drama that borderline normalizes stalking, allowing the audience to be mesmerized by it. Instead, the viewers should ask questions about why such stories on toxic relationships are given traction. There is only one answer. Young adult adaptations such as these sell, and by the looks of things, people enjoy guilty pleasure cinema from time to time, and movies like Through My Window allows that.
Through My Window begins in the city of Barcelona, where Raquel is a part of the writing program at her high school, but she is not willing to share her work with the group. Raquel comes across as a reclusive girl who has a small group of friends. This leads to her having a secret life behind her laptop, where she is obsessed with her neighbor Ares, who is the son of a millionaire. She can look into his room through her window, which further increases her infatuation. Her behavior is typical of the average girl in their mid-to-late teens who mistakes obsession for love and goes down the rabbit hole to know more about Ares. She thinks her feelings are justified, but she can’t fall in love with someone who probably does not know she exists and lives across his boundary wall. The entire setup does not make sense because logically rich people would live in a neighborhood surrounded by people of their status, but looking at this scenario, Raquel and her mother are from the working class, and having a millionaire living next door seems like a convenient coincidence to move the narrative forward.
To set up the meet-cute between Raquel and Ares, the writers have gone down an unusual path. Raquel’s Wi-Fi router gets hacked into in an attempt to retrieve the password, done by none other than Ares, who comes across as a curious man as well. The back-and-forth stalking leads to Raquel and Ares revealing plenty of embarrassing information they have on one another, which sets the precedent of their relationship. It is obvious that they like each other but are too young to understand the concept of love, and their path might lead to more complications between the two rather than making communication clear. This is a dangerous route because their minds are fragile as they have so much to endure in their lives ahead, and turning their attraction into something this complicated would only serve the purpose of the narrative, which comes across as tiresome.
Raquel comes across as a girl who believes Ares should be able to earn her, for she cannot be treated like every other girl he fools around with. Using this trope, she manages to play mind games with him while he is trying his best to get hold of her. He is frustrated because he is used to girls falling for him, but Raquel seems different, and this time he is the one chasing her. The two of them play sensual mind games, which again throws light on how problematic the trope of normalizing the gaze being put on teens. This does not come across as a sensitive way to handle the subject at hand. It is borderline suggestive and a vulgar display of physical pleasure. Using a teenage boy and a teenage girl to titillate the audience is not the right way to talk about physical intimacy.
Raquel and Ares finally sleep with each other, only for her to realize the guy is emotionally distant from her. But neither she nor he could stay that far away from each other because they live in close proximity. Their attraction seems so carnal that they end up in each other’s bed frequently. To understand him, she learns of his difficult relationship with his parents, who are so caught up in their rat race to make more money that they do not seem to understand that their boy might be falling in love with Raquel. Even when they come to know of this relationship, his father tries to brush it under the carpet as yet another fling. This is a typical conflict that arose between the rich and the not-so-rich. This part of the movie is highly predictable because, just like in any other typical commercial Hindi film of the 1990s, rich fathers have a problem with their children hanging out with not-so-rich peers. This conflict is wafer thin, which allows the viewers to easily assume how the movie will end. This is the influence of Fifty Shades of Grey, where the conflicts in the subplots were added just for the sake of drama and to push the narrative ahead.
Ares wants to become a doctor, but his father is pushing him to head to Stanford and possibly to study management and get on with the family business. It is Raquel who understands what he wants from life, and again, it is the woman who changes the man for his betterment. This narrative of girls or women rescuing troubled boys or men from going to the dark side is an age-old cliché because it puts the onus on the women to be the ones who put in maximum effort. This film executes this in the most formulaic manner.
Through My Window ends with Raquel and Ares finally realizing the love they have for each other and wanting to cut the drama and get to the real stuff, which is staying in love and being supportive partners. Raquel finishes the writing assignment given to her, which had Ares as her protagonist. The movie ends with Raquel finally gaining confidence and publishing her written work for the world to at last comprehend her talent. This film was supposed to be about Raquel and Ares coming from two schools of thought but finally finding a middle ground, which is love. Sadly, not much was explored when it came to Raquel’s apprehensions about letting the world read her work, but more on rescuing Ares from himself. Hopefully, the sequel will take the narrative further from here and let the viewers learn more about Raquel.