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Monday, September 19, 2005

The Maid

Hmmm....watched some movies lately but one which I would particularly like to mention is of an Asian flavour...a Singaporean production.
The Maid is set in modern day Singapore and takes place during the seventh month of the Lunar Calendar, also popularly known as the Festival of the Hungry Ghost(will elaborate in my next entry). The story centers on a family which delves in the opera showbiz and they are hiring a Filipino maid, Rosa. Rosa is young and naive, having to leave her family for the sake of financial pursuit and a sick young brother whom she loves very much. Her employers seem kind to her and accepted her as part of the family. She even gets on very well with their only son, a mentally-retarded guy, Ah Soon.
Rosa was taught of all the superstitions of the seventh month and also prohibited from all the taboos. She was reprimanded when she tried to sweep away the ashes of the burnt hell money from the front compound of the house by her mistress. Then, she starts to have visions of the underworld as she begins to sight the wandering spirits. She gets the scare of her life and her employers was concerned and assured her that they will handle her problem. Soon, she starts to feel a presence in the household as well and she saw the ghost in her room and on the cupboard. At the same time, Ah Soon is getting more affectionate towards her. She starts to have nightmares and it was after that she starts finding things which have the name of "Esther" attached to them and starts to question her employers. Furthermore, she notices another foreign maid across the street who gives her weird looks and stays away from her.
After getting enough of the scares; one including a small boy who died in an accident in front of the house and appearing to scare her to get him his ball, she decided enough was enough and approached the foreign maid and her employers and starts investigating about the mysterious member, Esther whom she suspects was the former maid in the household. The neighbour's maid, Wati was still apprehensive on talking to her and gave her a look of fear when she mentioned Esther's name and told her to question her own employers. Puzzled, Rosa tries to find out and is still very much bothered by the hauntings of the ghost in the household. Her mistress then told her about Esther who was their former maid who was ungrateful and eloped with another foreign guy. Wati denied the story saying that Esther was a decent and good girl who just disappeared without a trace. Rosa and Wati became friends, but not for long when Wati was possessed by the spirit of a girl whose funeral procession passed her. (The driver mentioned that the shadow of the coffin which befalls anyone could bring bad luck to the person; so he needs to drive to the cemetery before the sun's position is on the other side) Wati was the unlucky one whom the shadow casted upon from the position of the sun and she went berserk; Rosa chasing after her and witnessed in horror as she jumped to her death from the food court on top of a complex.
Then she also starts hearing voices in the costume room of the house and she finds herself drawn nearer to a drum. She tears open the drum and finds a burnt decomposed body. Then she yelled at her employers saying that she knew what happened to Esther and they were solemn until she ran to the door, threatening to tell the police. Next she found herself tied up and gagged; dressed in the qipao (bridal gown for Chinese) and was at the altar. She saw her own picture and that of Ah Soon with all the decorations ready for a Chinese wedding to take place....hahaha...should i reveal that much to spoil the story for you guys?:P
Anyway, her perverted employers were trying to arrange an astral marriage for their son who died a year ago...yes, their Ah Soon. Apparently, he was very close to the former maid, Esther and he was so fond of her that he raped her while they were playing together(kinda absurd for a mentally retarded guy with the IQ of a child to be capable of such indecency...anyway, they mentioned that he is anyhow still a guy) and Esther wanted to lodge a police report. Her employer stopped her and he tied her up and burnt her to death, at the same time suffocating her with the bridal veil covering her face. Then he sealed her body in the drum. Ah Soon was upset over Esther's death and he committed suicide as well...which means all the while, the Ah Soon Rosa has been with was a ghost!!! The restless spirit of Esther, on the other hand has been trying to communicate with Rosa and now they are trying to bring the employers to justice. They want to hang Rosa to death at the auspicious hour for the marriage, who refused and they tried to make her say yes by promising to support her brother's medical fees back in the Philippines...then Ah Soon tried to stop them and his father caught fire, and burnt to death..actually Esther contributed to that. Before he died, he still demanded his wife to hang Rosa who escaped and her mistress rushed after her with a knife out to the road where she got hit by an oncoming lorry.
That was the tragic end of the whole family. As for Rosa, she returned to the Philippines with the grateful soul of Esther in her urn. At the airport we can see the three souls of the family standing and looking at them. Then another story starts about another girl having to leave her homeland to pursue a job in Singapore...

Pretty much the story is Asian-like and quite original, a little different from all those genre of the Ring. They depicted the reality quite well...with a few scares of sudden appearances and centering on the sound effects. I think it's worth a watch....so, do enjoy the movie!~