I need to preface this post by explaining why there was no GIF & review last week. It’s because of cinematic catastrophes. We arrived in the Light House Cinema on Tuesday, 20th of February to watch The Shape of Water. Then, the power cut out. The power cut and we were all evacuated from the building. The staff were very apologetic and offered us refunds immediately. You rock Light House Cinema!
This week’s film was going to be Isle of Dogs, a preview as part of the Dublin Film Festival. Needless to say, we couldn’t go to that because of the red weather warning and lack of public transport after 7pm yesterday. The screening wasn’t cancelled and ADIFF, apparently, have a strict no refund and no exchange policy, even during times of extreme weather.
But now, to the latest film.
We set up Netflix and had cinema rules apply: no talking, no phones, lights off and we settled in to watch Mute. It is a straight to Netflix release that came out on February 23rd. Directed by Duncan Jones and starring Alexander Skarsgård and Paul Rudd. It was highly anticipated and we were both left fairly disappointed.
I knew nothing about the film when we sat down to watch it, only the name of the director and the score composer, Clint Mansell. The music was amazing, but the film was not. Paul Rudd’s acting was impeccable, but Alexander Skarsgård wasn’t great. He was a mute, and unlike Ryan Gosling’s character in Drive, this was basically his only defining characteristic. That and the fact that he was Amish. He wasn’t mysterious, and no amount of puppy dog eyes saved his character for me.
The film was set in a dystopian Berlin, and unfortunately, this wasn’t even uniquely done. The parallels between this Berlin and the Los Angeles of Blade Runner were too similar. The colour scheme, the holograms, constant announcements looking for information about fugitives, flying cars, automated machinery, robot sex workers and pretty much everything else had been seen and done before. It was never daytime, constantly raining and there were forced references to the ‘past’.
I could enjoy aspects of the film until close to the very end, when, for no explicit reason, a new storyline was developed and the film just dragged on and on and on. There was an entire scene about a character’s paedophilia which was just entirely unnecessary; it had been alluded to throughout, and then Jones decided to actively acknowledge it in a conversation that ultimately amounted to – you guessed it – nothing.
Soon after that, Skarsgård found who he was looking for, and then a whole load of other things happened for no reason. They added nothing to the storyline, and to me they felt like Jones just went, ‘I need to make this film longer’. And eventually, after what seemed like another hour, the film ended.
The soundtrack was kind of the only saving grace of this film, but if you fancy a dystopian film that has a lot of potential, give it a go. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.