Written by Abdi Nazemian & Micah Schraft
Directed by Jamie Babbit
Running Time: 1:31
for strong and disturbing sexual content,
a scene of violence, language, drug content
and brief nudity.
The Quiet was one of those movies where I wished I had just stayed at home.
Dot has lost her parents and is taken in by a friend of the family. She has a new sister, Nina, who is the most popular girl in school. Nina's home life isn't as great as people may think. Her mother is overworked and drugged out, and her father has his own issues. Both Dot and Nina have secrets that could cost them dearly, and the idealized world they live in may get turned upside down.
Just a warning, this review will contain spoilers. The trailer of the movie gives away one of the bigger surprises, but I thought I should warn you nonetheless. My biggest problem with The Quiet was that it had no beginning. It had a middle and it had an ending (of sorts), but there was no starting point. The movie picks up with Dot, deaf and unable to speak, already living with Nina and her parents. And Nina's, let's say, 'relationship' with her father is already in full bloom. But how did it all start? Dot's mother died when Dot was seven, and that's when Dot went deaf. How did that happen? Why is that never explained? Or are we supposed to just accept that it happened and move on? Later in the film a quickie explanation is given, but if you don't pay attention, it'll fly right over your head. And why is she with Nina's family? Briefly it is mentioned that Nina's parents are Dot's godparents, but how did the two sets of parents know each other? They seem to come from opposite ends of the social scale. It seems like a rather big deal to take in a teenaged orphan, but again, we're just supposed to accept it and move on.
And then there was the sexual relationship between Nina and her father. As I said, the trailer of the movie gives that little secret away, so I wasn't surprised when it showed up on screen. But how did it start? Why did Nina never say anything? How long has it been going on? And why now does Nina have a big enough issue with it that she's willing to do something about it? And overall, what was the point of the story line? To me, a lot of this movie was simply shock for shock's sake. The writer and director never took a side on the issue. Obviously sleeping with your daughter isn't a good thing, but they way Elisha Cuthbert portrayed Nina, you never got the idea that she was really against it. I can't imagine what someone like that is going through, and coming out and telling people what's going on, and dealing with the aftermath, might be just as bad for the victim as the act itself, but she almost seemed to get a kick out of being able to manipulate her father.
I also didn't understand the relationship between Dot and Connor, the hot guy at school. He seemed to be attracted to her because she couldn't hear him and he could say whatever vile thing he wanted to. What was her attraction to him? And why was she willing to take the relationship as far as it could go? I also never really cared about any of the characters, either good or bad. Everyone was so blah and uninteresting that I never got sucked in to the film. And the worst mistake in the film occurs when Connor and Dot are talking. Well, when Connor is talking. He says that they can go on a road trip and visit Hershey, PA., where the street lamps have Hershey Kisses on top of the lamp posts, and they give you M&Ms. M&Ms are produced by Mars Incorporated, not Hershey!
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I wasn't impressed with The Quiet. If there had been some background on all the characters it might have helped the movie make more sense. But as it is, the film just sort of started at some random point and tried to shock us rather than give us a story about people we could relate to and care about.
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