Film: The Maid (La Nana)

Cast includes: Catalina Saavedra (Chile Puede)
Genre: Drama
Note: Chilean with subtitles

In brief: Raquel is one of the family… “They love me, and I love them.” Well… not exactly. Raquel is the maid. She’s been the maid for 23 years. And above all, Raquel is a martyr. Lucas practically has to drag Raquel, kicking and screaming, to blow out the candles on her own birthday cake. The family thinks Raquel looks frazzled, and they thinks she needs some help with the chores. Raquel accepts this idea the same way she accepts all the family’s ideas… with stoic belligerence.

Mercedes is the first to attempt to assist Raquel with the household duties. She proves defenseless against Raquel’s not-so-passive resistance. Lucy is more formidable. But even Lucy fails miserably. What’s it going to take to restore harmony at home? Another helper? Or should Raquel be fired? What about those fainting spells? And why has Raquel scratched out Camila’s face from so many family snapshots?

If you think this sound like the start of a maid-goes-off-the-rails-and-does-lots-of-nasty-deeds kind of movie, you’d be right. But if you see it with that expectation, you’ll be disappointed. To say nothing dramatic happens would be an understatement. Things do happen, of course, but it feels rather like a page out of an ordinary life. That’s the beauty of this one… it’s realism, subtlety and understatement. But if you’re looking for a plot-rich, entertaining diversion, The Maid isn’t it. It’s a well-developed character study that’s garnered critical acclaim from audiences that enjoy a well-developed character study.

popcorn rating

2 popped kernels

Popped kernels for character development. Unpopped kernels for frustration with the main character.

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