The Chambermaid Lynn, 2014
dir. Ingo Haeb
Really strange film, not at all what I expected. At first it seems very Rear Window-y, with Lynn (who is a chambermaid in a hotel) spying on the hotel guests by going through their things and lying under their beds at night. But it takes a turn to Secretary-ville, where our protagonist is socially awkward, OCD, and clearly submissive. She spies a room where a man meets with a call girl, Chiara, who is a dominatrix-type, and Lynn writes down her phone number and calls her over. They begin a dom-sub relationship, although it is a bit strange and awkward, with Lynn asking more and more personal questions, and Chiara seeming to warm up to her.
However, there isn’t really a plot to the film, and the story doesn’t really go anywhere, except that Lynn becomes creepier and creepier as the film goes along, especially in the final scene. She is in her mother’s house at night, and walks in her mother’s room, inexplicably carrying a kitten, and says ‘do you know what’s the best part of cleaning? it gets dirty again,’ which genuinely sent scared shivers down my spine. It’s an odd film, because through all that, I still couldn’t figure out what the movie wanted me to think or feel. It isn’t a love story, or a drama, and it barely scratches character study.
But while the story itself wasn’t particularly interesting, in a technical way the film is really good, especially how it uses sound. Very little music, lots of diegetic sound, deafening breathing — it almost feels like we’re in Lynn’s head, and it’s very claustrophobic.
It’s an interesting film, though not necessarily one I’d like to watch again. But I’d recommend seeing it once, if anything because it does look amazing, so at least there’s that.
review by Mariana Duarte