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An Understated Gem – The Quiet Maid – Raindance Film Festival (Film Review)

2 min read

There has been many a story portrayed in film involving the classes and the issues that come with the divide, the characters end up being the defining factor to make each story stand out. Having had its UK premiere at Raindance 2024, The Quiet Maid was nominated for Best Debut Director and Best Debut Feature.  The film boasts an enticing lead, Paula Grimaldo who is captivating even when completing menial tasks. She went on to win Best Performance at Raindance. The Quiet Maid is not a thriller, nor is it a straightforward drama. An observational character study would be more accurate as with Ana herself, there is more beneath the surface than what we are presented with.

Working for an upper-class family on the north-eastern coast of Spain, quiet Colombian domestic maid Ana, balances her duties with finding ways to also enjoy the Summer.

Ana is the epitome of a compliant discreet servant. Though you can see under the surface is the real personality bursting to get out. We see in small doses her opinions and judgement of the family but knows better than to let her emotions get the better of her. Only when she believes she is utterly alone and in control do we see another side to her. Her hedonistic need to be free is satisfied and she returns to the obedient maid.

Unlike similar films that have come before, there is no dramatic moment, there is no over blown confrontation but rather a more realistic end. From the start, we are given exactly what to expect. Ana needs money to send back home, the family dismissed the last maid after a short while for an unknown reason. Ana needs to stay in employment in order get the paper she needs in order to stay in Spain, this family is her ticket. We are set up to expect there will be some kind of difficulty along the way for Ana and she must find a way out it. The in-between moments around this set up is what makes this story intriguing. We observe Ana the most, while she watches the family. Stereotypical behaviour of a wealthy family used to maids doing their bidding, but Ana is more than the stereotype we expect.

Overall, The Quiet Maid is lesson in the power of understating and retrained cinema that can have more of an impact that the over dramatic.

The Quiet Maid screened at Raindance Film Festival 2024