The film tells the story of a young married couple who decide to use the services of a nanny.
Screen adaptation of the bestseller of the same name by the writer Leila Slimani. The film was directed by Lucy Borleto, who showed her vision of the work.
The slogan “Your life is in her hands…” was not chosen by chance, the work shows how often we overly trust the wrong people.
The story begins with a monologue by a young mother of two that questions the unconditional joy of motherhood. Tired of the monotonous life and caring for two small children, Miriam (Leyla Bekhti) decides to return to work, entrusting the care of the kids to servants.
The family starts looking for a worthy candidate and faces difficulties due to the lack of qualified personnel. After several interviews with candidates that do not suit the couple, Louise (Karine Viart), a middle-aged French woman, comes to the interview, who manages to win them over from the first minutes. Demonstrating a professional approach backed by extensive references and an ability to get along with children, she easily gets a job as a governess.
Possessing low dynamics of events, the film paints us a peaceful picture of the life of kids, under the supervision of an ideal nanny and parents who again feel the heady aroma of freedom, reviving their former romance in them.
Along with these scenes, the first oddities begin to appear in the character of the nanny, showing excessive aggression towards someone else’s child who offended Adam, her youngest ward, she forces others to stay away from her.
Gradually, the woman becomes a member of the family, arriving earlier than the scheduled time and leaving later, she takes on additional responsibilities around the house, which further disposes the couple to herself.
One evening, the couple insist on Louise’s presence at a family celebration of the success of Paul (Antoine Reinartz) husband Miriam. At the holiday, the nanny feels awkward, but wins the attention of the guests with her culinary skills, which pushes the spouses to invite her to a joint vacation.
On the beach chosen for relaxation, the governess again cannot cope with aggression when the eldest daughter tries to drag her into the sea. She tells her frightened parents that she is terrified of water and cannot swim. Paul helps her overcome her fear, convincing her to go into the water with him.
In the evening, a woman hears the couple making love, which makes her obsessed with the idea that they are planning a third child, who will certainly be given to her because they trust. With this, she seduces Mila (Assia Da Silva), the eldest daughter, making her a tool to manipulate her parents.
The atmosphere heats up, the mother finds bites on Adam’s body. Paul begins to have nightmares, after which he wants to fire the servant, something unconsciously frightens him in a friendly woman. Miriam reassures him, asking him not to jump to conclusions.
The behavior of the governess becomes more and more inadequate, Mila begins to be afraid, and Adam cries more and more often.
The family receives a letter from the Treasury demanding that the wages of the new worker be transferred to the state. Paul becomes enraged by the fact that she hid the existence of a debt, this leads to a major quarrel.
Louise’s madness is at its peak, she has hallucinations, octopuses that fill the apartment terrify her. Her condition is aggravated by a letter found in the baby’s toys, which reports that the family has approved the nursery, and soon her services may not be needed. She feels like she is losing her children.
An angry Louise leaves a cryptic message for the couple – a peeled chicken skeleton in the center of the table.
The end of the story comes a few days later, when the nanny takes a small knife out of the refrigerator, fills a full bath of water and calls the children to her place. Mila’s premonition makes her hide under the bed. The wife, returning from work, sees Louise sitting with her neck cut in a pool of blood, blood on the walls, floor and in the bath. The fate of the children remains unknown.
The meaning of the film
The main characters are not a married couple and only partly a nanny, the main character here is madness. We are shown his insidiousness and unpredictability, he does not need replicas and meaningfulness. Its path is shown from beginning to end, sprouting like a small seed, which the bearer herself only vaguely guesses about and ending with a bloody ending, where it finds its end.
It is in the last minutes that a frightening climax is shown, to which an innocent narrative led, slowly gaining momentum.
Characteristics of heroes
Louise is a woman who is hired to look after the children. She lives alone in a small apartment on the outskirts of the city, has a huge debt to the state left by her husband (not revealed in the film), has a child who was taken away by social services.
Miriam is a young mother who wants to escape from home life and works as a lawyer. Dreams of a successful career, cannot stay in one place for a long time. Consistent and conscientious, loves sweets.
Paul is Miriam’s husband, a musician, easy-going, loving husband. Always in the center of cultural life, loves parties, passion for music puts a little lower than relatives.
Mila (5 years old) and Adam (9 months old) – charming and naughty kids, the central symbol of the work, are the first to notice the approaching madness of a woman.
After watching, there are two key ideas that are shown on the screen. Easy to understand is the idea that you should never give excessive trust to strangers, there can be a demon hiding inside everyone.
Crazy people are not only born, but made. A person driven to the very bottom, who did not receive help in time, gradually becomes dangerous not only for others, but also for himself. Is it possible, despite the monstrous deed, to show regret for him?