Directed by: Marçal Forés
Distributed by: Netflix
Written by Maria Athayde
“Through My Window” directed by Marçal Forés is the latest Netflix production to come out of Spain. And in all honesty for a Wattpad story, turned into a published novel, then adapted into a Netflix film it was not that bad. The movie follows typical cliches of young adult romance but it didn’t do anything that was too egregious to make me outright dislike the movie. Sure, the main characters engage in extremely questionable and borderline-stalking but it all works when our characters end up together at the end.
Our premise is simple and follows a classic three-act structure: we have a conflict, crisis, and resolution. It is through this structure that we are introduced to our protagonists Clara Galle as Raquel and Julio Peña as Ares. Raquel is our narrator throughout the movie and it is through her eyes that the majority of the movie is viewed. Raquel has been intrigued by her neighbors, the Hidalgo brothers – Artemis, Ares, and Apolo – heirs to Alpha 3 from a distance as long as she could remember. She develops an intense and obsessive crush on one of the brothers called Ares who does not know about Raquel’s existence.
One night while trying to spy on Ares, Raquel has a conversation with his younger brother Apolo who thanks Raquel for letting them borrow her wifi since theirs is broken. Raquel is confused since she never shared her password with her neighbors. She deduces that Ares hacked into her computer and wi-fi password and has been using her internet ever since. This event is the catalyst for Raquel and Ares to interact face-to-face for the first time. Encouraged by her best friends Daniela (Natalia Azahara) and Yoshi (Guillermo Lasheras), who harbors a secret crush on her, Raquel decides to confront Ares to figure out what is going on. Raquel stalks Ares at a soccer game and subsequently follows him into a cemetery to figure out what is going on. Ares catches on and decides to confront Raquel as well.
He questions Raquel and asks why she has all this information about him stored on her computer. Raquel admits she has a crush on him and that he wants him to fall for her. From this point on, we have a cat and mouse game, of sorts, that culminates in them sleeping together for the first time. After they sleep together Ares callously dismisses Raquel: he grows cold and distant. However, Ares realizes he misses Raquel’s company and one day opens up to her while she’s drunk. He explains that he cannot be with her and does not believe in love because he caught his parents cheating on each other when he was a young kid.
Ares and Raquel manage to reconnect, and once Ares wins her back, he introduces her to his family at a family party. Unbeknownst to Raquel, her mom is working as a waitress at this party. Raquel grows visibly upset at this and claims Ares only invited her to this party to humiliate her. After a few more contrivances Ares manages to apologize to Raquel and win her back for good with a grand gesture at a school dance.
Whenever you adapt any material and especially a book there are things that won’t make it from the page to the screen. This was my biggest problem with this adaptation. The chemistry between the protagonists was good and the young adult romance elements were satisfactory. But the movie was not able to explore elements beyond their romance. The book provides much more context and characterization to Ares, for example, which would have been great to see on screen. In the movie, Ares is nothing beyond the object of Raquel’s desire. Secondary characters like Yoshi and Daniela get little to no characterization in the movie. Ares and Raquel’s family dynamics and class differences are not well explored in the movie. There are many times when things happen on screen that there is no context for unless you’ve read the book.
While I enjoy seeing attractive people fall in love it doesn’t work if there isn’t a good screenplay to support it. Even with these flaws, I enjoyed the movie and it is one of the better teen romances Netflix put out lately. My hope, while unlikely, is that Netflix can fix these problems before releasing the 2 sequels they have planned.
“Through My Window” Trailer
“Through My Window” is streaming on Netflix. You can also purchase Through My Window by Ariana Godoy wherever books are sold.
You can follow Maria Manuella Pache de Athayde on Letterboxd, Twitter, or Instagram and view more of what she’s up to here.