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The Maiden's Dauber

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Apr 26, 2022

Film Reviews
The Maiden's Dauber
Directed by:
Luke Couch
Written by:
Luke Couch
Siyu Lu, Joey Smelik

A rapport develops between a painter and a young woman while he paints a portrait of her.


A young painter (Smelik) is alone in his studio, working on a painting of a woman. A young Asian woman (Lu) enters the room, wearing the same dress as the figure on the artist's canvas. She is his subject. She sits on a chair, facing him. He appears to be having trouble concentrating as he is painting, so she speaks to him and tries to make him feel more comfortable.


This short is roughly six minutes long and during that period of time it manages to offer a thoughtful
and pleasing experience. The plot is about a person who attempts to find his creativity with the help of another. The painter appears to be rather talented, however he also seems to be lacking self-esteem and the woman reaches out to help him by talking to him and suggesting that he smokes his pipe. The interaction between them results in breaking the ice and they become friendlier with each other. This drama is a tender, beautiful and poetic story that explores themes of self-discovery and self-expression.


Dialogue is limited and the two protagonists rely primarily on body language in order to give personality to their character. The man appears nervous as he tries to work, giving the impression that he is performing a task he is not used to. The woman is very calm and observant and seems to know how to read people's feelings.


The whole narrative takes place inside the studio and the mise-en-scene consists of a painting studio that has been thoroughly utilised. There is paint everywhere, plenty of paintbrushes, the artist's palette and all the other equipment usually found in such an environment. The woman wears a beautiful Asian-looking dress and the painter's clothing give the impression that they belong in the 19th century, making this film a period drama.


Couch directs beautifully and Ewan Thomas delivers great cinematography. Rory Laws makes an outstanding contribution with the music, which includes wonderful piano and violin work.


This is a viewing that contains emotion, beauty and art. It had a great deal of work put into it and the visuals are pleasing to watch and the score is a joy to listen to.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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