the maid la nana

– . – The Maid (La Nana)

The Maid (La Nana)

Director Sebastián Silva Screenplay Sebastián Silva, Pedro Peirano Stars Catalina Saavedra, Claudio Celedón, Alejandro Goic Opens August 27

The Maid sets itself up to be yet another variant on Fatal Attraction, this time with a domestic servant as the woman scorned. Raquel (Saavedra, quietly mesmerising) has served the same bourgeois household for decades. Whenever her position within the house is threatened, she responds with desperate vindictiveness, scoring out photographic images of the teen daughter (who calls Raquel ‘psycho’), locking out a succession of new maids and even coming close to a ‘bunny boiler’ moment with a pet kitten.
Fortunately, Silva defies the dictates of genre, preferring the complex verities of characterisation over predictable thrills. With fly-on-the-wall camerawork, Silva first shows us the oppressive claustrophobia of Raquel’s hermit-crab existence, before gradually allowing her to emerge, joyously, from her borrowed shell with her anticipated implosion relegated to what merely might have been. 4 stars

Anton Bitel