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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 sexual fantasies with her thinking she won't get it.
  • 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 killed by Dot, as he had just attempted to rape Nina (having already previously raped her multiple times).
  • 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. Dot later uses it to strangle Paul.
  • 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. He has actually raped Nina.
  • 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 to his daughter Nina.
  • Fake Pregnancy: Nina attempts this to facilitate her escape from Paul. It fails miserably.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: The blonde, talkative, popular Nina and the silent, dark-haired unpopular 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.
  • I Am a Monster: Paul confesses to Dot early on that he's sick and hates what he's done. It turns out he's molesting Nina, his daughter. His self-hatred doesn't stop him from doing it more though.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nina is initially very cruel to Dot, resenting her being with Nina's family. Over time she warms up to Dot though. Eventually, she and Dot end up friends/adoptive sisters.
  • Lingerie Scene: Nina has multiple scenes in her underwear as she's ironing her cheerleader uniform, which shows off her beauty. This gets creepy however in the scene with her dad as well there especially since he's molesting her.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Connor and Dot have sex beside their school's pool.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Dot is pretending to be deaf and mute, which causes other teens to claim she's also mentally disabled, and for Nina and Connor to share their secrets with her.
  • Parental Abandonment: Dot's mom died of cancer when she was seven. After that, her dad died from being hit by a truck. She's sent off to be with her godparents after this, to the annoyance of their daughter Nina.
  • Parental Incest: Nina and her dad. He's been molesting Nina for some time when the story starts.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Nina and her friends all make cruel jokes about Dot's disabilities, while also claiming she's mentally disabled too, for no reason but to pick on her. Initially, they're the antagonists.
  • 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: Nina is being raped by her dad, it turns out. Dot saves Nina from attempted rape in the climax by him as well.
  • 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.
    • Dot also soon discovers Nina is being raped by her dad.
  • 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 wears very masculine clothing with her hair short and shaggy. Nina on the other hand is a Girly Girl cheerleader with long hair and feminine outfits. She's contemptuous about Dot's style. Dot does get into a flattering dress for the dance near the end though.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Dot never shows the slightest dislike of Nina for her cruel jokes and treatment. Once she learns Nina's being abused by her dad she rescues Nina from him in fact, and they bond.
  • Walking Spoiler: The incestuous relationship between Nina and Paul is clearly spoiled on this wiki.