Head of the Household: Our Review of ‘La Nana’

Posted in Movies, OVID.tv, What's Streaming? by - October 23, 2022
Head of the Household: Our Review of ‘La Nana’

Catalina Saavedra plays Raquel in Sebastian Silva’s La Nana, or The Maid. Raquel is one of those legendary characters that film blogs talk about, and the same goes for Saavedra’s performance. No, it’s a hair short of deserving an Oscar nomination. But it’s miles better than anyone who actually got a nomination in 2009. Also, I just noticed that there are many great performances as maids. But then again, service does bring something psychological within people, speaking from both sides. Anyway, Raquel is, duh, a maid in a upper. Middle. Class. Chilean household. She has conflicts with the family’s eldest daughter Camila (Andrea García-Huidobro). This forces her boss Pilar (Claudia Celedón), to hire someone to help her out. Already slightly neurotic, she talks to Pilar as if she has power nd the film is seemingly about power.

As the head of the family, Pilar hires three more maids. Mercedes (Mercedes Villanueva) is an innocent Peruvian, Sonia (Anita Reeves) is, as Pilar describes her, a cavewoman. And Lucy (Mariana Loyola) is the cool one. In the growing pains of having secondary help, Raquel hurts a cat, and I was considering deducting points because of this. La Nana, which Silva shots in handheld digital, climaxes with Sonia literally climbing on top of the house. Imagine this film as housekeeper highlander, or any highlander. Mercedes, Sonia, and Lucy think that this is just any other job. But Raquel thinks otherwise and thinks that the three are her enemies. Will the three new maids outlast her, or think that this job is worth it enough to do so, and is this what the film is actually about?

I ask this because the first scene seems to establish a Raquel versus Pilar conflict, the kind of conflict that better maid movies like The Second Mother use. However, this is its own unique animal because every scene or two throws a wrench and gives the film a unique trajectory. I expect that there are many versions of La Nana, especially one where, spoiler alert, Lucy comes in earlier. Butut her addition to the film, regardless of when it happens, is another welcome wrench just because she has acts differently around Raquel. When a human being treats another person badly or behaves strangely, the easiest thing to do is to stay away from them. The fact that Lucy has a different read on Raquel is one of many things that make this film thematically rich. It’s about change, and the way these characters deal with change make this film memorable.

The Maid comes soon on OVID.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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