96 Min | Drama – Thriller | September 2005
IMDB Rating: 7.5
Director: Jamie Babbit
Starring: Camilla Belle, Elisha Cuthbert, Edie Falco
The Quiet Review: ‘The Quiet’ is an ambitious film. An ambitious film that fails. It’s not without some moments of intrigue, but it succeeds mainly at being awkward. It’s so devoid of meaning, that why this film was made in the first place is a bewilderment. Its paper-thin script lets a talented cast fall by the wayside, making fools of themselves with each passing moment. It may keep your attention, but it will leave you in less than memorable fashion. An orphan after her Dad suddenly passes away, Dot is a deaf and mute girl who’s taken in by her godparents, the Deer family. Their teenage daughter, Nina, makes no attempt to hide her contempt, and those at her school make no effort to befriend her. Dot wishes to be nothing but invisible, which becomes difficult when those around her begin to make use of her inability to hear and speak. Connor, the high school basketball star, confides in Dot what he can tell nobody else.
And Dot quickly realizes that all is not well inside the Deer family home. The dark comes to light, and Nina begins to suspect Dot is hiding a dark secret of her own. When all the possible routes this film could have taken that at least would have made it more entertaining and memorable, it makes me sad. Instead we’re left with a flimsy story loaded with unintentional humor, and a script which allows for too much in the way of unnecessary and awkward dialogue. It seemingly aims to mix Gothic horror with black comedy, but gets so lost in itself that it’s hard to distinguish between the two. Even with elements of incest and teen sexuality, ‘The Quiet’ is depressingly mundane. Where’s the sizzle? The provocative issues are thrown around so lightly there’s a serious lack of emotional depth. It’s to the point where almost flaw of this slow-moving melodrama can be traced back to its problematic script. Suffice to say, the film’s exceptional production values aren’t enough to carry the film.
The cinematography and dimly lit scenes make for an attractive looking film, but ‘The Quiet’ is empty underneath.
Marred by inner-conflicts behind the camera, ‘The Quiet’ is a misguided celluloid trainwreck. By taking itself too seriously, its attempt at satire is cold and pointless. And despite the obligatory twists, the average viewer won’t have a problem dissecting this film and figuring it out early on. So is the trend of recent thrillers, which has become an oxymoron in of itself. ‘The Quiet’ left me yearning for just that.