Andrea’s film review – Windfall

Windfall ⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Review by Andrea Carnevali

A man breaks into a tech billionaire’s empty vacation home, but things go sideways when the arrogant mogul and his wife arrive for a last-minute getaway. Available to watch on Netflix.

If you really want to know how I feel about Windfall, let me just tell you that I watched the film four days ago and as I sat down to write my little “report”, I realised I could hardly remember anything about it. This is the impact it made on me (arguably, I do watch a lot of films). Having said that, now that I’m trying to cast my mind back to it, I have to confess that I didn’t mind the experience of watching it, while I did.

The plot itself could be written on the back of a post-stamp: Jason Segel stars as a nameless burglar who breaks into a billionaire’s empty holiday home. When suddenly the owner (Jesse Plemons) and his wife (Lily Collins) show up, things take a sudden turn for the worse and the “simple” robbery becomes kidnapping.

Windfall is essentially a chamber piece, which could easily be turned into a play, set entirely in and around the house and mostly centred around the three characters.

It’s an interesting experiment and even though it’s not completely successful, it’s held together by some good acting by all three leads.

Jason Segel (here co-writing the script as well) is obviously in search of a change of direction in his career, veering towards more dramatic roles, trying really hard to shake off the nine years he spent in the TV series How I Met Your Mother. He’s actually quite good in this, bringing both sadness, confusion and repressed rage to his ambiguous character. Having said that, I must confess I struggled to keep the image of him singing with the Muppets off my mind from time to time.

But it’s the ever-reliable Plemons who keeps the electricity going (and the film together) as the increasingly unlikeable rich CEO.

The film is only 92 minutes and while the ingredients seem to be all there in place, at times I just wished it didn’t feel so slow as it did. There were definitely moments when Windfall dragged a bit as if they had to pad it out to reach a feature length.

Not every twist and turn made complete sense and I definitely saw the ending coming from miles away. It almost felt like a first draft of a better movie, the one that those actors really deserved.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.

Windfall is available to watch on Netflix.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

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