Mute – Film Review

Rating : 2 / 5 stars

What’s it about?

Mute is a science fiction noir film directed by Duncan Jones, starring Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux amongst others.

The film follows a mute bartender Leo, who is searching desperately for his missing girlfriend. As he begins to peel the layers of her life away, he finds out that she may not have been who she claimed to be. What secrets does he uncover? How does an mob enforcer and his daughter factor into the scheme of things? And does he eventually find her? These are some of the questions that the film tries to answer.

What’s Good?

There is a potentially good film in Mute somewhere, with some interesting ideas regarding faith,  friendship, science and humanity being touched upon during the course of the film. However they remain just that, interesting ideas. The film benefits from being structured in a classic film noir format, with the protagonist embarking on a journey to find his missing girlfriend and discovering that all is not what it seems to be. The performances are good and hold the movie up during its weaker sections. Art and set design of the futuristic world that the film is set in is decent and manages to convey a murky, crowded future kind of vibe that adds to the viewing experience of the film.

What’s Not?

One of the main issues with the film is that for a sci-fi noir film, the world building in it is lackluster. After sitting for more than two hours of watching Leo search for his missing girlfriend, one still does not get a clear sense of the world in which this story unfolds. Most of the  characters in the film feel one dimensional and do not have any sort of character arc. The action in the film is mediocre and is a huge let down. There are noticeable loopholes in the screenplay and ultimately there is not enough story to make a full feature length film.

Audio dubbing in the first 10 minutes of the film feels off, giving the impression of watching a student film instead of professional production. Background score is average and does not help the film in any way. The CGI is mediocre and could have been better.

Performances

Paul Rudd as Cactus is the best part of the film. Normally known for his comedic roles, he brings a certain menace to the proceedings that is refreshing to watch. Justin Theroux plays Duck, a creepy doctor, and manages to brings out the weirdness and creepiness of the character very well. Alexander Skarsgard portrays the simple minded mute Leo well enough, but ultimately gets overshadowed by Rudd and Theroux. Rest of the cast is average and make no impact.

Final Word

A disappointing film from the director of the fantastic sci-fi film Moon, this is strictly for die hard sci-fi fans only!


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