Windows on the World is a gripping 2019 drama film that intertwines the elements of individual struggles, family bonds, and social uproar to provide a deeply evocative portrayal of the loss and struggles of immigrant families. The movie was directed by Michael D. Olmos and boasts a stellar cast, including Ryan Guzman, Edward James Olmos, and Chelsea Gilligan among others. The narrative is set against the backdrop of an intensely distressing timeline centered on the devastating 9/11 terror attack.
Ryan Guzman, known for his electric versatility, delivers an earnest performance as the leading character, Fernando. Fernando is a young man living in Mexico who embarks on a search for his father after hearing about the 9/11 attacks. His father, Balthazar, played by Edward James Olmos, renowned for his captivating presence, had been working illegally in the famous Windows on the World restaurant, located on the 107th floor of the North Tower in the World Trade Center.
When Fernando sees the horrifying news of the twin towers falling, he is consumed by fear for his father's safety. When weeks go by without any word from Balthazar, Fernando decides to leave everything behind, his home, his family, his serene and familiar surroundings, in the hope of finding his father in the land of dreams, the United States of America. He courageously crosses the Mexican-U.S border illegally, a journey fraught with danger and uncertainty.
After miraculously making it to New York City, Fernando embarks on a journey through the strange, bustling city that's still reeling from the shock of the attacks. His experience is a deep interrogation of the immigrant condition, their lived realities, fears, hopes, dreams, and their fight against stereotypes and systemic difficulties.
Chelsea Gilligan, known for her effortless emoting skills, plays the character of the English teacher, who becomes a trustworthy confidante, empathizing with Fernando's ordeal and standing as a pillar of comfort and support in his quest. Their relationship sheds light on the cultural divide, trying to navigate the blurred boundaries of language, nationality, and sentiments amidst the complex atmosphere of post 9/11 America.
The story is continually traversed by other characters as well – a warm and compassionate woman who houses Fernando, his skeptical lover, and various others who influence his journey in their own respective ways. The dialogue is token of the raw, unfiltered emotions, fears, and feelings that these characters, as representatives of larger groups, undergo. The portrayals navigate through profound moments of despair, hope, disillusionment, longing, fear, and courage.
The film’s narrative weaves a sensitive tale of emotions and challenges faced by marginalized people living in the shadows, shattering the gleaming image of the American Dream. It delves deep into the precariousness of their existence, their continued struggle for acceptance, and their tenacious hold onto hope against oppressive structures. Conversely, it also explores the kindness of strangers, the resilience of the human spirit when faced with bereavement, and the universal potency of familial love that transcends boundaries.
The film showcases the cultural disconnect experienced by non-residential workers and throws a sharp light on the loftier political tones of immigration, labor rights, and xenophobia, and their intersection with personal lives. However, it’s the personal perspective of human struggle and determination that leaves its mark on the audience. It’s a film about losing and finding, about connections and reconnections, about despair and hope, about love and longing.
Windows on the World is an emotional rollercoaster that tastefully condenses complex themes into an affecting narrative, keeping its viewers invested till the end credits. The film doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of its characters’ lives, balancing both the bitter and sweet occurrences in their lives and providing them the dignity they deserve.
Shot beautifully, it extends a cinematic appeal, giving the audience a gripping visual and emotional experience. The score is melancholic, in harmony with the raw emotions portrayed on screen. It is realistic yet engaging, making it a stellar portrayal of personal struggles and social issues rooted in an unfortunate global incident that changed the world forever.
In essence, Windows on the World emerges as a poignant commentary – a thoughtful introspection tour of not just the characters themselves, but also the audience about their understanding of privilege, humanity, resilience, and love. It serves as a vital viewing for all those cinema lovers who enjoy watching stories that connect society, politics, and personal paths.
Windows on the World is a Drama movie released in 2019. It has a runtime of 107 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.4..How to Watch Windows on the World
Where can I stream Windows on the World movie online? Windows on the World is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Windows on the World for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.