The Piano, written and directed by Jane Campion, begins with a voice-over with a difference. The voice we hear is not that of Ada, the protagonist. She doesn't have a voice. She is mute. What we hear are her thoughts. And they are eloquent.
From this short introduction, we learn much about Ada and her predicament. We learn that she wasn't born mute. She became so, as a consequence of some childhood trauma, the cause of which she has removed from consciousness. We learn that her father identifies her condition with "a dark talent", an extraordinary force of will, that verges on the suicidal. We learn that she is married to a religious man. A man who resides abroad and that she and her daughter are about to join. We learn that she hopes her husband will have the divine patience needed to withstand her unnerving silence. But, most importantly, we learn that Ada only "speaks" through her piano, and that, without it, she feels cut off from the world. A world below which run strong feelings and passions, those of a mother, of a bride, but, above all, of a woman.
ADA (voice-over) "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've not yet met. Soon my daughter and I shall join him in his own country. My husband said my muteness does not bother him. He writes and hark this: God loves dumb creatures, so why not he! Were good he had God's patience for silence affects everyone in the end. The strange thing is I don't think myself silent, that is, because of my piano. I shall miss it on the journey."