A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
It is a dark and stormy night. In an isolated house on a deserted landscape, a woman waits alone. The opening moments of "Death and the Maiden" are so intriguing that almost any continuation would be a disappointment - but movies have to be about something, and so slowly the purity of the situation settles down into the business of the plot. But not before the woman, played by Sigourney Weaver, has made an indelible impression.
She is angry and deeply troubled. She is expecting someone, and has a chicken in the oven and a bottle of wine prepared. Then she hears a news bulletin on the radio, and her mood turns to rage. She eats her own dinner, savagely jabbing it with a knife, and dumps the rest in the garbage. She is acutely aware of the night outside. When the man she is waiting for appears, he has been given a lift by a stranger. She conceals herself in the bedroom, and pretends to be asleep. The two men talk and drink. She creeps out into the night, steals the stranger's car, and drives away.
The visitor is distraught to have his car taken - to be marooned, in thanks for his good deed. The two men sit on the steps and continue their conversation. One man is her husband, Gerardo Escobar (Stuart Wilson). The other is a neighbor named Dr. Roberto Miranda (Ben Kingsley). The men become friendly, confiding. It is very late, there is no way to leave the house, and so the visitor agrees to bed down on the couch in the living room. He seems drunk, convivial, but the moment the husband disappears a chemical change seems to take place, and he is thoughtful and self-possessed.
He goes to sleep. The woman approaches the house quietly, steals into the living room, and is able to surprise the visitor and tie him up before he can resist. She believes he is a torturer - the man who raped her 14 times when she was a political prisoner. She never saw him, because she was blindfolded, but she knows his voice, his way of using little phrases like "itty bitty," and even his smell. She knows it is him.