The Maid (15)

Welcome to Raquel’s world. She lives in somebody else’s house, cleaning somebody else’s mess, looking after somebody else’s kids.

She’s just turned 41 and this has been her life for the last 20 years. She’s suffering from acute arrested development having never formed her own identity, instead living in the shadow of her wealthy employers. As a result, Raquel carries a constant sense of resentment with her at all times, which manifests itself in petty one-upmanship, such as “accidentally” waking the family up with the hoover or locking the other maids out of the house.

The Maid is a superb character study of a woman who is mean and bitter but simultaneously vulnerable and childlike. It’s anchored by the performance of Catalina Saavedra as Raquel, who embodies her character completely, from the downturned mouth to the resentful glares to the weary bodied fragility. It’s easy to see why she won a Special Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
The delicious thing about this film is that there is no way of knowing how it will unfold. Raquel is so fiercely territorial, so obsessive compulsive, so highly strung that she could flip out and reach for a kitchen knife at any second. On the other hand, she could be liberated from the misery she wallows in, if only she would let herself. The film avoids the obvious path of making Raquel’s employers demonic slave drivers, they too are sensitively portrayed, much to the credit of the filmmakers.
Raquel is a beautifully written, complex character of the type that isn’t often given room to breathe on the big screen. It’s a triumphant film which yanks the underdog out from the shadows and places her under the spotlight for a compelling and ultimately uplifting journey of self discovery.
Anna Lord

In it
Catalina Saavedra, Mariana Loyola, Claudia Celedón, Alejandro Goic

Behind it
Sebastian Silva


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