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Film / The Quiet

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The Quiet is a 2005 drama-thriller directed by Jamie Babbit and starring Elisha Cuthbert and Camilla Belle. Dot (Belle) is a deaf-mute teenager whose father has recently died and who was taken in by the Deer family, old friends of her parents. Nina (Cuthbert) is the daughter of the Deer family, somewhat resentful of Dot, who (suspecting that Dot may actually be able to hear) starts telling her disturbing things about her family and her life.


This film provides examples of:

  • The Aloner: Dot, thanks to her deaf-muteness. Even when people (such as Conner) express interest in her, she has a tendency to brush them off.
  • Attempted Rape: Paul tries to rape Nina in the climax but is stopped by Dot. She also prevents Paul from abusing Nina earlier in the film by smashing a vase outside their door.
  • Daddy's Girl: Dot was one to her late father and is still in mourning. Nina is one too, but it's not what everyone thinks.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Conner is very into Dot despite her acting relatively cool towards him. However, the "Nice Guy" part of the trope is debatable given his using Dot's deafness to confess to her a wide variety of sexually explicit things, and he rejects her when he learns she can hear.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The broken piano wire.
  • Fake Pregnancy: Nina attempts this to facilitate her escape from Paul. It fails miserably.
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  • Jerkass/Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nina keeps going back and forth between these two when it comes to Dot. Eventually, she and Dot end up friends/adoptive sisters.
  • Parental Incest: Nina and her dad.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Shit!" Mostly for who says it rather than what is said; it reveals that Dot can talk.
  • The Quiet One: Dot. She's not The Voiceless because we get to hear her inner monologues and because it's revealed she can hear.
  • Rape as Drama: Dot saves Nina from a violent rape in the climax.
  • The Reveal: Nina comes home one day to hear Dot playing the piano until one of the strings breaks and Dot exclaims "Shit!," revealing that she can talk.
  • Secret Keeper: Played straight, inverted, subverted, defied and more. Dot can hear but pretends to be deaf. Conner and Paul confess embarrassing and dark secrets to Dot, thinking she can't hear them. Nina does the same thing knowing that Dot can hear her, but can't let on. Dot does nothing to stop Nina threat to kill Paul (though Nina doesn't go through with it). After Dot kills Paul to save Nina, Olivia, who witnessed that whole thing, takes the fall.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Dot dresses decidedly more masculine than Nina does, much to Nina's annoyance.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Michelle keeps pressuring Nina with this trope, thinking that her friend is a frustrated virgin. The truth is far more complicated.

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