Mute, The Silencing of Creativity

courtesy of  netflix

courtesy of netflix

Ashton T. Livingston, entertainment editor

Mute is a tragedy of film. It’s all these ideas jumbled together in a plastic bag and some neon sprinkles thrown in. Mute is the story of a mute Amish bartender who’s prostitute girlfriend goes missing and when he tries to solve it he keeps finding these two doctors. This could’ve been pretty cool aside from it being super cliche.The main character Leo is interesting enough as a character though he hardly speaks. He has an interesting enough backstory and strong motivation. What I personally feel really dragged down the film is Paul Rudd  and Justin Theroux’ characters. They’re very inconsistent as a character and horrifically miscast. Paul Rudd is playing a doctor who is supposed to be a threatening person and can snap at anytime. Paul Rudd is not that guy. You look at Paul Rudd and think ‘wow what a nice guy!’ not ‘Oh my gosh he is so threatening!’, this is not him.

The inconsistency regarding characters is almost unacceptable. Paul Rudd is being a happy go-lucky guy and you like him because Paul Rudd is a likeable guy, but then he has a complete turn around. Yes this can be summed up to human emotion but no one can turn around that bad. There’s a scene where Rudd finds out that Theroux is a pedophile; its building up to be a very intense scene and you’re praying for us to see Rudd be a threatening villain when, they hug it out. Scenes like this really turn me away from this movie. The film has all this amazing build up to what could be a very intense scene for a movie and nothing happens. Duncan Jones is a competent director but here he has no idea what he’s doing. There are dozens of scenes that could progress all the characters forward but the right opportunities aren’t taken.

Leo, our protagonist, is a good enough character. He’s likeable but he is so cliche. His girlfriend is a prostitute and he doesn’t know about that side of her and doesn’t care to know. There are other things to do with a female character to tie her to this crime underworld than prostitution. Prostitution is degrading career and it’s not the only career for women in your future world. This is so cliche and honestly has become very boring. The disappointment in the lead characters extend beyond the tropes they bestow. Leo’s quest for answers is almost beyond stupid. The questions he has don’t have to be answered once but sometimes even twice or three times! We get the same answer from twice from the same male prostitute. Why we needed this? I don’t know, ask duncan Jones.

When the end of the movie comes we get quite possibly the best scenes in the entire film. So, spoilers ahead. Leo finds the dead body of his girlfriend in the basement of the doctors. This leads to Leo being extremely angry and when Paul Rudd’s character comes down Leo shoves a knife all the way through his neck. As Rudd’s character bleeds out Theroux’s character comes down, sees him dying, turns the screen for a baby monitor in his daughters room towards Rudd’s dying body and we see Theroux; a proven pedophile; take away Rudd’s daughter as Rudd gurgles on blood in anger. This was possibly the most powerful scene in the film. The sheer anger expressed through it extremely compelling and in this you can see the semblance of how talented Duncan Jones can be.

This movie was bad, really bad. I was so excited for this movie because Duncan Jones is extremely talented.  When he released his first film Moon the world watched as his story telling talent unfolded. Now, we’re kind of disappointed. Two out of his four films have no critical success. I still have hope for Jones. I’ve seen his talent in film before and it was unbelievably impressive. Duncan Jones just needs to be told no. Mute, is a silencing of creativity in Duncan Jones’ lush mind.