The Maid

2009 [SPANISH]

Comedy / Drama

IMDb Rating 7.3 10 5917

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December 12, 2021 at 05:53 AM


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882.13 MB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
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1.6 GB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lee_eisenberg 7 / 10

Chile today

The recent earthquake in Chile drew attention to the South American country, and so it makes "La nana" ("The Maid" in English) all the more interesting. Sebastian Silva's film focuses on maid Raquel (Catalina Saavedra) in a Chilean family's house. Raquel sees herself as a part of this family. She has been using so much chlorine to clean the house that she's starting to have dizzy spells, and so they try to bring in people to help her, causing her to react.

I see this movie not only as a look at this woman and her life, but also as a look at 21st century Chile. From what I've heard, the country is advancing in many ways, despite the earthquake (which was stronger than the one in Haiti last January). A young woman whom I know recently went there and lived with the Mapuche Indians, and also met the judge who prosecuted Pinochet. I guess that I can't fully relate that to the events portrayed in "La nana", but I definitely recommend the movie. Worth seeing.

Reviewed by jotix100 8 / 10

Live-in maid

Welcome to Raquel's world. She is a maid for an upper middle class family in Santiago, Chile, that has been with them for twenty years of joyless existence. Raquel is a loner showing signs of fatigue as her work never stops. She is up and running the household for Pilar, who certainly appreciates her work, as witnessed at the beginning of the story when she gathers her clan to celebrate Raquel's birthday. Raquel gets along well with all the family members with the exception of the older daughter, who can't explain the animosity she gets from the maid. Part of the problem appears to be the way Raquel perceives the girl to be pretty and full of life, while hers is going away fast. Other than being with this family, she has no life of her own.

Pilar decides to hire someone else to help Raquel with her demanding job. She is still going to be in charge, but that way, Pilar figures, it will give the maid some badly needed rest. Unfortunately, Raquel clashes with two of the prospective would-be-helpers, a young Peruvian girl, and an older woman, who tells Raquel not to love these people too much because they really don't appreciate what she does for the family. In both cases, Raquel ends up locking them out of the house and they get fed up. When Lucy, the third assistant, is hired, she proves to be a perfect foil to Raquel's objections. Lucy is a no-nonsense woman who really sees Raquel for what she; Lucy realizes that under the tough exterior, there is a good person waiting to emerge with the right kind of approach. Soon they end up striking a good working relationship and even traveling for the Christmas holidays to Lucy's parents home in the country.

Sebastian Silva, co-wrote and directed this Chilean film that has proved to be a favorite in the festivals where it has been shown. The film works because Mr. Silva knows well the intricacies of life with a housekeeper, something that in other countries is a rarity. The director had worked with some of the actors in the cast in his first film "La vida me mata". He shoots the film using a lot of close ups that shows plainly the emotions going on with the characters he presents us.

The best thing in the film is Catalina Saavedra, who as Raquel runs away with the picture. She is charismatic and even her mean spirited attitude toward the others can be explained in the way she measures herself against the rest of the family. Claudia Celedon has some good moments as Pilar, the lady of the house. Mariana Oyola is also effective as Lucy, the only one that really understood what the trouble was with Raquel.

An enjoyable film thanks to Mr. Silva and Ms. Saavedra.

Reviewed by Buddy-51 9 / 10

Riveting performance in an intriguing film

It's just so hard to find good help these days. Just ask the Valdes family, whose live-in maid of twenty-three years is quickly becoming a veritable case-study in passive-aggressive behavior.

Forty years old, with no boyfriend, husband or children of her own, Raquel (the award-winning Catalina Saavedra) clings to her life with the Valdes with all the tenacity of a drowning sailor holding onto a rope. Whenever the family tries to hire someone to help her with her work, Raquel goes after the interloper with an understated viciousness bordering on psychosis. This is her territory, and she isn't about to yield a single inch of it if she can at all help it.

Sebastian Silva's Chilean feature "The Maid" could easily have devolved into a class-war screed, with Raquel as the representation of the downtrodden working classes and the Valdes family the embodiment of the unfeeling social elite exploiting those workers. Instead, we get a much more nuanced and subtle look at the gulf that separates the haves from the have-nots in society. For Raquel is hardly an inherently noble figure, what with her petulance, her petty jealousies and her callousness towards those she feels are a threat to her. Similarly, the Valdes's appear to be genuinely nice people (especially the mother, well played by Claudia Celedon) who go the extra mile to make Raquel's life a comfortable one and try to make her feel like a member of their family. The problem is that Raquel has become too dependent on this extended family for her own happiness (we only ever see her talking on the phone to her actual mother). Indeed, it takes another maid (Mariana Loyola) - a free-spirited young Peruvian who takes her job seriously but doesn't allow it to define who she is - to finally break through Raquel's emotional armor, which is the first step in Raquel's beginning to loosen up and concentrate on cultivating her own identity and happiness for a change. We sense in the end that this journey to self-awareness is going to be a long and arduous one for Raquel, but the movie leaves us sensing she is more likely than not going to complete that journey.

Silva has directed the film in a totally naturalistic style, making us feel as if we are eavesdropping on the day-to-day life of this household. There's even a bit of dark humor in its depiction of the "maid wars" to go along with all the emotional sturm-und-drang and domestic conflict.

Though there isn't a weak acting job among the lot of them, it is Saavedra's tour-de-force performance as Raquel that truly stands out. Shy and self-effacing one moment, she is sly and aggressive the next, and Saavedra never lets us see the mechanics of the transitions. It is a seamless piece of work that merited the many accolades it received in festivals around the world.

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