“When his girlfriend vanishes, a mute man ventures into a near future Berlin’s seamy underworld, where his actions speak louder than words.” The movie is not as exciting as it may seem at first though.
His actions did convey the messages more often than not, partly because of the performance and partly because he writes on his sketchpad that he carries with him all the time. But Alexander Skarsgård, playing Leo, the protagonist of the film, could only do so much with a character written as it has been. Leo is mute after a childhood accident, when against the doctor’s advice, his mother insisted that he would not be having a surgery to get his voice back.
We see Leo after a few decades working at a club and as the least tech savvy person in that world. He also sketches and carves figures into small wooden balls, which he gifts his girlfriend, Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh), who also works at the same club as Leo. Naadirah ahs some secrets, which may be the reason behind her disappearance.
Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux are also there, playing Cactus Bill and Duck, two medics working for the gangsters. The movie shows Leo’s childhood accident briefly, establishes that Leo and Naadirah are a sweet couple, and shows Leo’s quest in finding her and Cactus-Duck’s activities. Set ina futuristic Berlin with flying cars and delivery drones, the movie fails to emphasise how the futuristic world itself is important to the narrative, except for “the most basic phone”, gifted to Leo by Naadirah, being useful in his search for her.
With some disjoint pieces, some irrelevant scenes, lack of significance of the world (developed for the movie) in the movie and lack of enough risk to the protagonist for the viewers to care, the movie seems fragmented. Even Leo’s lack of speech is not of enough importance to the narrative. And when you think you’ve seen it all, the movie stretches for almost another 20 minutes.
It is not thrilling enough and there is not enough action. But yes, it is an action-thriller. Mute is weird and even as someone who appreciates “crazy” in a story, I would not recommend it to you unless you have nothing better to watch.