It is the mid-nineteenth century. Ada is a mute who has a young daughter, Flora. In an arranged marriage she leaves her native Scotland accompanied by her daughter and her beloved piano. Life in the rugged forests of New Zealand's North Island is not all she may have imagined and nor is her relationship with her new husband Stewart. She suffers torment and loss when Stewart sells her piano to a neighbour, George. Ada learns from George that she may earn back her piano by giving him piano lessons, but only with certain other conditions attached. At first Ada despises George but slowly their relationship is transformed and this propels them into a dire situation. Written by
Patrick Dominick <email@example.com>
The theme tune is called "The Heart Asks Pleasure First" on the soundtrack album. See more »
Ada writes a note to George on a piano key, but earlier George had told her that he can't read. See more »
The voice you hear is not my speaking voice - -but my mind's voice. I have not spoken since I was six years old. No one knows why - -not even me. My father says it is a dark talent, and the day I take it into my head to stop breathing will be my last. Today he married me to a man I have not yet met. Soon my daughter and I shall join him in his own country. My husband writes that my muteness does not bother him - and hark this! He says, "God loves dumb creatures, so why not I?" '...
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All of my friends think this is a great film, but I find it to be one of the most over-rated films of the 1990's.
'The Piano' is completely lacking in subtlety -- normally a quality a filmmaker wants in a film that is attempting (in this case, committing) symbolism. It hits the audience over the head with its 'meaning'.
And what does it mean? That a man wins a woman's love by treating her horribly and exploiting her mercilessly? That's exactly what happens in this film. Furthermore, Ada is a thoroughly inscrutable and unlikeable character.
I cheered when she was almost drowned, too bad she was rescued . . but even the beautiful cinematography and good cast can't rescue this over-wrought and over-rated film.
Also: did anyone notice that Baines is repeatedly depicted as uneducated and illiterate, but yet Ada writes to him (on a piano key of all things). And the annoying music Ada plays on the piano (and we hear over and over on the soundtrack) is out of place in a film set in the nineteenth century.
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