"The Maid" Could Easily Be Swept Under the Bed

I wanted to see a movie that had been around for a while, since the week's new openings did not read very well in the reviews. The New York Daily News gave this film four stars so I thought to myself that it would be a safe bet, after all, what have I got to lose? Regrettably, plenty in terms of time.  And at the age of 85, time is very precious. 

While I stood in line at the Angelika Film Center waiting for the earlier performance to end, I decided to ask people exiting what they had thought of the film. One couple said they liked it, while inside the theater, a late-middle-aged-guy recognized me and said, "Only a masochist could enjoy this film. It took so, so long to come to an end. I wish I could spare you the agony." After his comment, I spoke with three other people leaving the earlier show, all of whom said they enjoyed the picture. The guy who referred to masochism was right.  This is a boring and much too long movie.

The plot is simple: Raquel (Catalina Saavedra), a maid in the home of a Chilean couple with four kids, is on the brink of a nervous breakdown. The lady of the house, Pilar (Claudia Celedon), is a patrician and kind woman who wants to hire a second maid to assist Raquel. Raquel is distressed by the thought. 

When a young Peruvian maid arrives, Raquel makes her life miserable, and the girl quickly leaves the house. Pilar's mother states that she knows someone who could get along with Raquel, and Sonia (Anita Reeves) is hired. Yet, Sonia is a tough old biddy who, before she leaves, beats up Raquel. Then comes Lucy (Mariana Loyola) who is competent, mature, and a darling who gets Raquel to accept her. 

Lucy bring Raquel to her home on Christmas where her uncle, Eric, seduces Raquel. Raquel, who looks to be in her 40s or 50s, is both gratified and horrified. She tells Eric that it was her first sexual experience.

Though the film's highlights include a cute scenes with children, all in all, if you give any thought to how you spend your discretionary hours this, in my opinion, "The Maid" is not the movie for you.  However, there was more than a smattering of applause at the end of the picture.  Why, I don't know.  (In Spanish, with English subtitles.)

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Ed Koch was mayor of NYC from 1978 to 1989. He's credited with restoring fiscal stability to the city and creating affordable housing. He's also a film buff. More

Mayor Koch saved New York City from bankruptcy and restored the pride of New Yorkers during his three terms as mayor from 1978-1989. He restored fiscal stability by placing the city on a GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) balanced budget. He created a housing program that provided more than 150,000 units of affordable housing and created New York City's first merit judicial selection system. Prior to being mayor, Mr. Koch served for nine years as a congressman and two years as a member of the New York City Council. He attended City College of New York from 1941 to 1943. He was drafted into the Army his last year of college and served with the 104th Infantry Division. He received two battle stars and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1946. He received his LL.B. degree from the New York University School of Law in 1948 and began to practice law immediately thereafter. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP and hosts a call-in radio program on Bloomberg AM 1130 (WBBR). Mr. Koch appears weekly on NY1 television and is the author of ten autobiographical books.

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