The Quiet Girl might just be what you need after experiencing the bombast of Baz’s Elvis or Thor’s Love And Thunder.
Starring: Catherine Clinch, Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett, Michael Patric
Written and directed by Colm Bairead, The Quiet Girl is based on a novella by Claire Keegan.
Set in 1981 rural Ireland, The Quiet Girl in question is 9-year-old Cáit (Catherine Clinch), whose struggling parents seem to lack the will, ability and interest in nurturing their youngest daughter who has, not surprisingly become withdrawn and “quiet”.
With another child on the way, Cáit’s mother decides to send her away for the summer…to a couple who are distant relatives, childless and strangers to Cáit.
After dropping the bewildered Cáit off at her new “temporary” home, dad , played by Michal Patric, is in such a hurry to leave her there he drives off with Cáit’s suitcase still in his car, leaving the young girl without any clothes of personal possessions.
Fortunately, Cáit’s new guardians, her mother’s cousin Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) and her husband Seán (Andrew Bennett), seem to have their hearts in the right place.
Eibhlín treats little Cáit with love and respect, although Seán is, at first distant and withdrawn. But despite the refreshingly decent treatment Cáit receives, one can’t help but feel that there is a hint of impending doom vaguely present. Eibhlín seems too good to be true, Seán seems like he could be as bad or worse that Cáit’s “real” father and there is a feeling of loss, of grief and of sadness and an untold secret ever-present in the new household.
That and the warning to Cáit about “the well”.
All this sets the viewer up for what seems like an inevitable unhappy ending.
To give away any more would ruin the film.
But I can say that The Quiet Girl rises against cinematic clichés while showing a beautifully restrained touch by first-time director Colm Bairéad.
It’s a beautifully composed, well-thought out film that will give the viewer a feeling all one really needs in life is a little human decency.
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