The Quiet (2005)
This was a DVD ‘suggested’ by Amazon. I thought, ‘why not?’ and bought it for next-to-nothing, some time ago. Even though the reviews were not great, to say the least, I liked the idea behind the film. And Edie Falco is in it, and she was Tony’s wife Carmela, in ‘The Sopranos’.
It begins like a typical ‘high school teen’ film. Attractive young cheerleader Nina (Elisha Cuthbert) hangs out with her bitchy friend Michelle, (Katy Mixon) and all the boys find her desirable. But her contented life is upset by the arrival of Dot. (Camilla Belle) She is the God-daughter of her Mum, and has been taken in by the family following the death of both parents. She is grungy, uncommunicative, and Nina finds it embarrassing to hear her new ‘sister’ being called a ‘retard’ and ‘freak’ at school.
But Dot has good reason, as she is deaf, and unable to speak. She has to have a sign-language assistant in class, and if anyone wants to speak to her, they have to make sure she is able to lip-read. The usual high-school stuff is trotted out. Michelle is lusting after the school’s basketball star, Connor. She teases Nina for being a virgin at the age of seventeen, and simply cannot understand why Nina refuses to date any of the boys who find her so attractive. Back at the house, she takes out her frustrations on her parents with rude behaviour, and goes out of her way to make Dot feel unwelcome.
Home life is luxurious, in a nice home owned by architect Paul, (Marin Donovan) and his interior designer wife, Olivia. (Falco) But Nina’s father is trying to control her social life, and disapproves of her friends. He gets little support from his neurotic wife Olivia, a woman addicted to prescription painkillers, spending most of her life in a drugged haze. But this apparently affluent and normal life hides a dark secret within the rooms of the house, one that will erupt with devastating effect.
Dot discovers the secret.
But Dot also has an equally explosive secret.
Nina finds out that Dot knows her secret.
Then Dot inadvertently lets out her own secret to Nina.
The sharing of the secrets is a crucial part of the film, as the girls are now able to bond, helped by that shared knowledge. As events creep toward the climax that is not exactly surprising, as it really had to happen that way, the closeness of the girls becomes crucial, as other friendships disintegrate around them.
This film deals with something very dark, and perhaps doesn’t treat that as seriously as it should. (I would like to say what it is, but no spoilers!) Despite my admiration for Edie Falco, she feels strangely miscast here. She slightly overplays her role, and looks a little too old for it too. (Sorry, Edie) I found myself wishing someone else had played Olivia. The girls seem content with a by-the-numbers teen thriller performance that ends up like so many before it, and not as good as most of them. But as a film that probably went straight-to-video, it has its moments, and is certainly not terrible.
If you ever plan to watch it, then it might be best to ignore the trailer. (Trailer quality is poor, sorry)