The Quiet (2005)

25quie.2.600The whole concept behind “The Quiet” is that our main character Dot (subtle) is a deaf mute that lives among the upper class after her parents died. Dot is a deaf mute yet she still narrates every twenty minutes. This is not introversion of our main character stuck in a world she doesn’t want to be in, this is just an excuse to give Camilla Belle dialogue even though common sense would entail her character not speaking. It’s explained later that Dot could speak and hear once, but not anymore. Which is no excuse to give her narration. If you want us to believe this girl is now in a world where sound and communication can no longer exist, don’t undermine it with rambling narration.

Meanwhile “The Quiet” is essentially just a ninety minute soap opera, villains, sexual intrigue, and incessant whiny dialogue for the hell of it. Which is a shame since the concept of Babbit’s film is very appealing. Nina is a cheerleader bitch whose adopted sister suffers through her endless torment. Dot can’t hear or talk (or can she?) and lives in her own thoughts. Until one day Nina begins to confide in her with every misdeed that involves murder, incest, and manipulation. The actors within the story just aren’t very talented enough to draw us into the story, and it doesn’t help that Nazemian and Schraft’s writing is pretty terrible. Edie Falco is wasted as meek mom who hangs a lot of wall paper, while director Babbit looks for any and every excuse to expose Belle and Cuthbert near nude. Not that anyone can blame him, but flashing their skin undercuts any chance of them being taken seriously as actors.

Not that I see awards in their future. “The Quiet” is a thriller void of thrills, and rightly so since we focus solely on teen melodrama, and drop in, once again on the rich upper crest family with their own demons. How original. We have to then sympathize for these people who lack any sense of depth or complexity, and somehow relate even though about 95 percent of the folks in here resemble super models. Someone has to stop hiring the casting agent for “The Covenant.” Worst of all, Belle and Cuthbert have no chemistry or dichotomy, they’re just two very vapid characters without any rhyme or reason to even be around one another beyond the plot device of the parental deaths. Belle in her limited range just can not add a sense of attraction to a girl whose sound and voice were destroyed from grief, and she makes Dot insignificant. And Babbit doesn’t help her character reach the audience with utterly mediocre directing that doesn’t increase the tension or the suspense.

Each and every character is utterly despicable, and no one can garner our sympathies enough to warrant our attention. And then there’s Nina, the villainess (?) who is never same in any two scenes for the sake of cheap inconsistency to adhere to the story direction. Sometimes she’s bitchy, sometimes she’s vulnerable, she hates being a sex slave, she loves it, she’s the queen bee, she’s victimized by her best friend, and she’s awfully whiny. The writing is all over the place, and never sticks to a character frame that we can sit throughout with rolling our eyes. And it doesn’t help that Cuthbert can’t pull off this performance to save her life. Beyond geeky fan boys hoping for money shot of Cuthbert or Belle, “The Quiet” really serves no purpose. Yet another very interesting concept is ruined by horrible writing, mediocre directing, and a plot that’s better suited for “Days of our Lives.” While watching Cuthbert and Belle on-screen is always good for eye candy, “The Quiet” is a hilariously bad and utterly ridiculous piece of melodrama touted as a thriller.