The Housemaid (2021): Movie Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Saturday, September 11, 2021

The Housemaid (2021): Movie Review

If you're unaware, "The Housemaid" is an adaptation of the 2010 Korean film of the same name while that film in turn was also loosely-adapted from another 1960 Korean film. While we're aware of the film's past connections, we haven't seen both of those films. And even without any biases or prejudices from those original films, the 2021 Filipino adaptation of "The Housemaid" was rather disappointing. While the cinematography could easily match any Korean film, the writing and the character developments were rather lacking. This film obviously banks on grabbing attention with its erotic background while sidelining the more serious topics that could have helped it be more than just about sex.     
Daisy (Kylie Versoza) is hired to work for a rich family. She will primarily act as the nanny of their daughter Nami (Elia Ilana) and will also assist the matriarch of the family, Roxanne (Louise De Los Reyes), who is pregnant with twin boys. Everything seems to be going well for Daisy until one night William, the patriarch of the family, seduces Roxanne. Will Daisy succumb to the sexual advances of William?
While watching "The Housemaid", we could easily see how the film could have been a solid social commentary on the void between the rich and the poor. How the rich could easily buy their way out of problems or corrupt their way to success or even how money cannot buy morality. These were all obvious and not even subtle. For us, it wasn't that the film failed to present these to the viewers but the way "The Housemaid" developed these social commentaries was simply lacking and lackluster. Central to the film's issues were the rushed writing providing no chance at all for characters to mature and develop. 
One of the biggest head-scratching moments for us was how characters simply disappear and reappear or appear unnaturally. For example, Nami, the family's daghter, was an important character. Her scenes brought so much tension, contrast and emotion to the character of Daisy. But her character shows up only a handful of times. In fact, considering her room was right beside Daisy's room, she seemed to be non-existent to the craziness happening around her. Another problematic character was Alam Moreno's Ester who is the mother of Roxanne who just appears without any context midway through the film. The pacing and development problems just blows up in the film's second half as it struggled to tie up all the loose ends in a believable manner. In fact, we really had a hard time tracking the passage of time. For a film that felt slow, everything just felt fast timeline-wise. Sadly, the only real positive thing we could say about "The Housemaid" was its cinematrography and Jaclyn Jose who had that one scene that was just amazing.        
Rating: 1 and a half reels





Why you should watch it:
- amazing visuals and cinematography
- Jaclyn Jose as Madam Martha was the thing that makes this enjoyable

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the writing was all over the place especially in the latter half of the film
- everything just felt rushed or off-place

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