A Performance That This Community Needs
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 27m
Director(s): Vuk Lungulov-Klotz
Writer(s): Vuk Lungulov-Klotz
Cast: Lio Mehiel, Cole Doman, MiMi Ryder, Alejandro Goic
Where To Watch: Premiering at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival
RAVING REVIEW: MUTT is a journey through the life of a trans man in a city that never rests. The film follows Feña, played by the incredible Lío Mehiel, as he faces the challenges of his identity and past relationships, which are brought to the forefront when people from his past re-enter his life.
With their debut feature, writer-director Vuk Lungulov-Klotz offers a visually stunning experience with a unique aspect ratio that creates a sense of tension and chaos, complemented by stunning cinematography and a fitting score/soundtrack. Mehiel shines in his role as Feña, bringing raw emotions and a captivating portrayal of a trans man to life. Without question, this was one of the most authentic portrayals I’ve ever seen on screen and made all the more vital because it wasn’t a “forced” role.
While the film had the potential to delve deeper into the themes of post-transition life, it was an intentional choice to put only some of the focus on that. I think it was done to let the audience decide what this film meant to them and see how life plays out naturally without being forced into a story we’ve seen before.
The film depicts a trans man, but not as the defining aspect of Feña's identity. His struggles, as he grapples with the return of an ex and the awkwardness of reconnecting with family, are universal. MUTT avoids grandiose moments or statement-making scenes, opting for a more grounded and genuine portrayal of Feña's life.
This film resonated with me; while I’m not part of the LGBTQ+ community, I am an ally and feel that this story is more significant than just this film. The portrayal of the protagonist, Feña, and his challenges as a trans man in navigating his identity and past relationships hits close to home for many people, including myself. I would recommend it to others who are looking for a film that is both visually stunning and emotionally resonant.
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[photo courtesy of THE PR FACTORY]