Cert: 15 Runtime: 126 mins Director: Duncan Jones Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Seyneb Saleh, Noel Clarke and Robert Kazinski
He doesn’t need words
Duncan Jones has to one of the most captivating film-makers today. After his roaring hit with Moon, he has created worlds and challenged his audiences. On the later most audiences don’t really grasp his style or stories. Mute is his latest film, that has gone direct to Netflix. So what is Mute all about you say? The story is set in Berlin forty years from today and centers on Leo Beiler (Alexander Skarsgård), a mute bartender as he searches for his missing girlfriend, Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh) the love of his life, his salvation, through dark streets, frenzied plazas, and the full spectrum of the cities shadow-dwellers. As Leo’s search takes him deeper into the city’s underbelly he finds himself mixed up with Cactus Bill (Paul Rudd) and Duck (Justin Theroux), a pair of irreverent US army surgeons on a mission all their own, and Leo can’t tell if they can help, or who he should fear most.
Duncan Jones has a great vision for Mute, it seems to strike a homage to Blade Runner but stands on its own two feet. Throughout the film now and then there are some great long panning shots that show the setting of the film extremely well. It’s visually stunning to watch and the added grime and neon lighting submerges you into the world.
The cinematography of the film as well is very good, the film can look very dark and dire but then in a split second change into a wonderful amount of vibrant colour. Very nice contrast and makes the world of the film look very much lived in as if all of the surrounding buildings have got history to them. The films story is pretty straight forward, with layered secrets slowly unravelling throughout the run time. It’s a good noir if you ask me, the dark undertones are hard to view in some occasions. The subject matter also may put some viewers off their cereal. For me it enhanced Mute, Jones is showing what the world could end up as and respect his vision. But the pacing is rather stagnant during the run-time, and you click out of the film for a few minutes.
This is the issue with Netflix, it can be hard to concentrate. You have so many distractions around you, it’s not a true cinematic experience. The cast is an interesting bunch to be honest and all of them for the most part are good with what they are given to do. Obviously the standout is Alexander Skarsgård , who is very good as the mute bartender Leo, he is the heart beat of the film and he carries the film along well. His use of his body, eyes and expression really gives him life. The character itself doesn’t really have much of a story, but Skarsgård gives Leo life. Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux are both good in their respective weird roles that are extremely strange, but they do the best they can. Rudd would make a great villain upon watching Mute, Theroux was utterly terrifying and un-nerving for me. Mute is a very strange neon-noir, I understand why it’s not for everyone but for me I enjoyed it.