Mia Goldman who is a Vassar alumna presented a preview screening of her debut Open Window to the Vassar community last Wednesday. Goldman wrote the script, directed, and edited her own work. The film, which will hit the theaters in September, is based on Goldman’s personal tale regarding to a woman’s struggling to recuperate after being raped and beaten. The sweet life with her fiancé and everyone around her turns sour after the incident as the victim tries to deal with her drama.
Although the subject is heavily intense, Goldman throws in a few appropriate jokes to lighten up the atmosphere. The chemistry between the actors—Robin Tunny, Joel Edgerton, Cybill Shepherd, and Elliot Gould—is wonderful, but the storyline is not so moving. The pace is 97 minutes long, but it seems much longer. The problem is that the film tries to get a message across instead of delve into the art. A great example is when Izzy (the victim) explained to the psychiatrist why she didn’t report to the police. Her reasoning was that she made a promise to him not to tell anyone so that he wouldn’t kill her. She went on and explained that she saw some humanness in his eyes when they exchanged a few lines, even though he slapped her, threatened to stick a screwdriver into her head, made her blew him, and raped her. If I could remember correctly, the psychiatrist responded with something like Izzy had begun a relationship with the rapist. Now that is something interesting. Unfortunately, the film never came back to that topic again.
Other then that, I don’t see Open Window as being distinctive from other sexual-assaulted films. Victims were raped, humiliated, and remained silence trying to deal with it. From a male and a foreigner viewpoint, I find it ironic because America is one of the most voiced countries in the world. We express ourselves freely and blatantly from politic to sex to anything else. Yet when it comes to rape, we’re having a hard time fronting it. If Open Window is based on a true story, I am sure the guy who raped her would be watching it, patting himself, and saying, “Damn! I did her good.”