Writer-director Charlie McDowell brings to life a tense psychological thriller with a noir ambiance in Netflix foray ‘Windfall.’ The movie opens in a serene vacation home in an orange grove, where a burglar, casually named Nobody, has the time of his life. He probably had an idea that the owners would not be in the house. However, to his dismay, the CEO arrives with his Wife.
The CEO is a cool customer, and he would happily help the burglar and even erase the memory. Still, it’s not enough to convince Nobody, bringing Nobody to a peculiar problem. But hopefully, Nobody can get away with the money and more. Well, the twist ending turns the story on its head, lingering in the viewer’s mind for a long while. However, you may want to know if the story is inspired. If so, let us keep you posted.
Is Windfall a True Story?
No, ‘Windfall‘ is not based on a true story. The story is purely a work of fiction. To avoid associations and enhance the mystery elements, the writers chose to keep the story’s specifics pretty vague. Even the characters don’t have names, apart from rudimentary “CEO,” “Wife,” and “Nobody” in the credit section. Justin Lader and Andrew Kevin Walker wrote the screenplay for the film, constantly toying with the viewer’s psyche. Jason Segel earned credit for the story alongside Charlie McDowell, Justin Lader, and Andrew Kevin Walker.
The ‘How I Met Your Mother‘ famed star also plays the lead role of Nobody with an effortless frenzy. Nobody does not care for anything, and he is non-existent on the societal grid. The CEO is a bit too full of himself, and the Wife has made a pact to climb up the social ladder. All feel trapped in their stereotypes. The feeling that the movie disseminates is one of claustrophobia. The CEO and Wife cannot leave the house, and neither can Nobody. Everyone feels threatened by everyone in a peculiar hell.
The scenario may bring to your mind the idea of the COVID-19 pandemic — no one can see the danger until we reach the threshold. The director resonated that the movie was born out of the paranoia around the pandemic, even though it’s not about the pandemic. He took the essence of the pandemic and wrapped it into a stripped-down noir aura. The rearer recollected to EW, “We were trapped within the confines of our own space, and everything felt scary, and we kind of went through every single different emotion you could go through, and I think we’re all connected in that way.”
And introspection often leads to uncanny self-discovery, especially when stuck in a room. Gradually, we see that all the characters are flawed, and they hate each other for their predispositions. Jean-Paul Sartre’s drama ‘No Exit’ perhaps inspired the movie, where a similar situation occurs between three characters. Meanwhile, Lily Collins, who got hitched to McDowell in September 2021, also stars in an essential role in the movie. They are a dynamic couple on both sides of the screen.
The actress initially thought working with her husband would be stressful. But Collins stated it was a walk in the park. She recalled the experience of working with her husband “freeing.” While grocery shopping, she would overhear bits and pieces of the story on the phone and sometimes contributed. Coincidentally, the ‘Emily in Paris‘ star delivers an impressionable performance. But coming back to the aspect of truth, there remains little of it in the story. However, it emanates the same pandemic lockdown feeling the director aimed for.