Megan Scutt’s World Through a Window is a comforting short film about the connection between love and loss. Jonny (Dylan Bull) is an introverted window washer who shares an innocent, mutual flirtation with Alice (Jade Moore), a young woman living and caring for her aging granddad (Martin Pritchard). Jonny’s mother recently passed, compounding his anxieties and difficulty putting himself forward. Alice’s granddad encourages her to find someone, but she’s been frustrated with her recent dates and has her own interests. The two ultimately bond over loss and share a tender connection.
Scutt and company skillfully mix the sweetness of a developing romance with the hard edge of unexpected heartbreak, allowing the two emotions to complement one another rather than dominate the relatively short 10-minute runtime. (Full disclosure: the crew includes MFJ contributor Richard Propes as an executive producer.) The script is sparse on dialogue, letting Bull and Moore convey their characters without unnecessarily lengthy exposition that would only drag down the simplicity of their connection. There doesn’t need to be a moment where Jonny tells Alice about his mother’s passing or why he’s so quiet. We don’t need a voiceover from Alice upon introducing her. Love — and falling in love — is a universal experience that everyone hopes to feel and, in many cases, watch movies to vicariously enjoy. We know these two from the moment we meet them and we want the best for them.
Even if that best is something that comes and goes. Without going into plot details, the night of their first date crashes into tragic circumstance. It bonds them further. As an audience, we wish it wasn’t the case that their cute romance should be tainted — but isn’t that the truth? Relationships are built around mutual experiences that either bring us closer together or tear us apart. They aren’t all sweet sticky notes on a window or smiles shared at a coffee shop. Jonny mentions that he saw his world through a window when he happened to run into Alice while washing her home. The world is multifaceted. It gives and it takes, and the important thing is that we work as hard as we can to ride the vacillations together.
World Through a Window could quite easily have been all meet cute and been very successful thanks to the actors involved and patient, thoughtful storytelling. I am glad they had more to say.