Now Reading
Windfall (Review): Not Everyone Works for You






Windfall (Review): Not Everyone Works for You

Avatar photo

Windfall is a familiar yet well-executed pandemic thriller that takes aim at the meaning of true wealth. 



The pandemic unleashed a lot of locked feelings around the world. It radicalized many on all sides of the spectrum and showed us what our day-to-day lives look like when we are locked inside with no option to go out. Despite the restrictions, however, art never stopped. Although films skipped cinemas or delayed themselves indefinitely, the artform still churned out new productions. Windfall is the product of what COVID brought to the ever-changing world of film. A noir Hitchcockian thriller that confines itself in a beautiful house and landscape in order to show the darkness buried deep within.

Jason Segel plays the character of Nobody. A man who is in a state of desperation. When we see him for the first time, he strolls around a beautiful home and absorbs the aroma of superiority that flows through it. He’s not someone that is used to living lavishly, a sharp contrast to the wealthy couple played by Jesse Plemons and Lily Collins that walk through the door. What begins as a short power trip for Nobody quickly becomes an escalating situation where the dream home becomes a nightmare. Jesse Plemons is a CEO whose wealth and fame seems to have a deep connection to Nobody’s current mental state and world views. Lily Collins plays the wife who secretly holds deeply rooted remorse towards her husband that begins to show itself when placed in this dangerous situation. What begins as a traditional tale of ransoms and blackmail slowly becomes a piece on the class divide and how no matter how bad the world gets, there’s always someone ready to find some financial gain.

Director Charlie McDowell is no stranger to the cast that is at play here. Marking his second film collaboration with Jason Segel and Jesse Plemmons after 2017’s The Discovery, Windfall has  a particular feeling of collaboration and comradery here that only feels amplified by what has happened in the world in recent years. The film was entirely written and directed during the 2020 pandemic and it shows that initial mindset we had in subtle ways. From the moment the film begins, the camera seems to place itself far away from the action. The few close-ups we see throughout the film come almost as a surprise as McDowell has the camera feel more like an observer than a true part of the film’s scenery. When the main central cast is together, there’s always a small amount of distance between them both literally and figuratively. The rich couple in question is divided by a sense of unease perpetuated by contrasting beliefs and the price of their internal and external greed with Nobody having to stand in the middle to get what he wants.

Director Charlie McDowell is no stranger to the cast that is at play here. Marking his second film collaboration with Jason Segel and Jesse Plemmons after 2017’s The Discovery, Windfall has  a particular feeling of collaboration and comradery here that only feels amplified by what has happened in the world in recent years. The film was entirely written and directed during the 2020 pandemic and it shows that initial mindset we had in subtle ways. From the moment the film begins, the camera seems to place itself far away from the action. The few close-ups we see throughout the film come almost as a surprise as McDowell has the camera feel more like an observer than a true part of the film’s scenery. When the main central cast is together, there’s always a small amount of distance between them both literally and figuratively. The rich couple in question is divided by a sense of unease perpetuated by contrasting beliefs and the price of their internal and external greed with Nobody having to stand in the middle in order to get what he wants.

loud and clear reviews windfall netflix
(L-R) Lily Collins as Wife, Jesse Plemons as CEO and Jason Segel as Nobody in Windfall (Netflix © 2022)

Windfall ultimately sets its sights thematically on the meaning of wealth and money. How much of it should be given, how much it consumes someone, and what worth it has on an average person. Around the middle of the film, we see hints of the mindset that the CEO truly has about the people around him. While he may have had a key role in the loss of many people’s jobs, he subscribes to a very similar and recent mindset to wealthy people that comes from a place of frustration due to the common conceptions of who he is. He sees himself as someone who started with nothing and built himself up yet rather than showing sympathy or remorse for those who were in his previous position.

If any complaints can be thrown at Windfall, it’s that the reluctance to delve just a little bit deeper into these characters comes at a cost. There are strong characters at the core of the film thanks to the strong performances, but the vagueness of who these characters were before the events of the film means that some of the major events in the back half of the film feel underserved. Jesse Plemons brings a ton of life to the role of a toxic CEO and is undeniably the star of the film once the main plot begins to kick off. 

While Windfall may have a very limited set of skills linked with it from its single location and very small cast, it doesn’t let the viewer forget where its influences lie. The opening titles are accompanied by a strong use of the Gavotte font commonly seen in 40s cinema that, alongside the help of its bombastic score from Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans, create this feeling that you’re watching a very old school noir film. It’s a film that’s destined to feel as big and grand as possible even in its quieter moments. Despite the real and timely setting it places itself in, Windfall pushes to still feel as cinematic as possible by using these tricks. The camera is still, the music is a character in itself and its themes are blunt. 

See Also

Windfall may feel familiar to many who have seen films like it in terms of structure and overall narrative. Where it succeeds most, however, is the execution. Although it doesn’t directly reference the pandemic, its influence can’t be understated as the film takes a look at the mindsets of the elite and those who are struggling in a whole new world. Views have become radicalized in all senses and that extremity is the secret ingredient to the boiling point that Windfall slowly marches towards. It may be a film that compromises itself too much at times but when it delves into its ideas and world, it shines as an offbeat and tense Hitchcockian thriller with a timely touch.


Windfall: Trailer (Netflix)

Windfall will be available to watch on Netflix from March 18, 2022.


JOIN US!

Don’t miss our monthly updates with film news and exclusive content! You’ll only hear from us once a month. #nospam

Copyright © Loud And Clear Reviews, All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top