Mute

I love Moon and so desperately wanted Mute to be good as we had waited so long for it.

You’ve probably already work out then that this unfortunately fell well short of expectations.

What starts out as a futuristic neo-noir with Leo searching for his missing girlfriend abruptly turns in to a very different film about some nasty people in whom we have nothing invested. There are also several strangely flapping loose ends which concerned me. Where has Leo’s family gone? Why does he choose his current life style in neon technology land given that he is still clearly attached to his Amish upbringing (and does the fact that he is Amish even matter? It isn’t explored at all.)

The two strands kind of meet up towards the end, but it’s too neat.

I wish someone had had a quiet word in director Duncan Jones’ ear about the way his female characters are portrayed. ‘Characters’ is a bit of an overstatement, really. Leo’s girlfriend Naadirah, who goes missing early on, works as a waitress in a lap-dancing club wearing only her underwear. Most of the women are dancers, waitresses or sex workers, and wear very little. There is a gratuitous shot of Naadirah in the shower, and completely unnecessary views of young girls wearing very short skirts bending over. There is no sophistication to it, and it actually makes Blade Runner feel like a feminist tale.

The world-building and technological ideas are beautiful, and the sly nods to the fact that it is the same universe as Moon are nicely done. But I had so desperately wanted to like this film that the disappointment was difficult to shake off.

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