The Maid (La Nana)
Sebastián Silva’s second feature is a sweetly comic take on the role of domestic servant within a household. Raquel (played by pitch-perfect Catalina Saavedra) has been a maid for the Valdes family for 23 years and has come to regard herself as one of the family. Her ill health persuades them that she needs assistance, but each new maid feeds Raquel’s growing paranoia, and finding her position precarious, she seeks to sabotage every new arrival.
The Maid is a touching and heart-warming story about what it means to be part of a family and the lengths some will go to protect the status quo. The detailed characters are well observed and the narrative demonstrates the gradual changes in the household with astute humour.
Raquel’s serious austerity is betrayed by her delight in the magic tricks performed by the young son, Lucas Valdes (Agustin Silva) and her loneliness is palpable. The film shows depth and perception and though the cinematography offers nothing exceptional, subtle and empathetic performances from the cast make for a captivating watch.