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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:

  • All Men Are Perverts: Of the two major male characters, Paul rapes his own daughter, and Connor uses Dot's deaf-muteness to share his gross sexual fantasies with her. Dot's dad seems normal, though.
  • 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.
  • Asshole Victim: You are not going to feel sorry for Nina's father Paul at all when he is murdered by Dot
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The broken piano wire.
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • Evil Counterpart: Dot and her father were genuinely very close, while Paul is an abusive rapist.
  • Fake Pregnancy: Nina attempts this to facilitate her escape from Paul. It fails miserably.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: The blonde, popular Nina and the silent, dark-haired Dot.
  • Hand Signals: Dot is deaf-mute, so she mostly communicates by using American Sign Language. The school lunch lady also knows ASL as her son is deaf, and speaks to Dot using it. However, it turns out that Dot is able to hear and speak, having learned this as her father was deaf.
  • 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.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Dot is pretending to be deaf, which causes everyone to assume she has a learning disability too for some reason, and for Nina and Connor to share their secrets with her.
  • 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 and speak.
  • 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 and talk but pretends to be deaf-mute. 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's 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.
  • Walking Spoiler: The incestuous relationship between Nina and Paul is clearly spoiled on this wiki.