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#Mute review: Archana Jois’ ‘frantic’ search for a missing pet is lacklustre and tiring

There is no warmth in the bond between her character and the dog, which is a big failing for a film about the lengths a pet owner will go to save a furry friend.

#Mute review: Archana Jois’ ‘frantic’ search for a missing pet is lacklustre and tiring
Archana Jois in a still from the film

Last Updated: 10.47 AM, Feb 24, 2023


Story: When Divya (Archana Jois) walks out on her husband, after he suggests a polygamous life, her knee-jerk reaction to his betrayal is to attempt suicide. She is saved in the nick of time by her best friend Abhi (Siddhaartha Maadhyamika), who along with her with her trusted canine companion, Cosmo become her support system. All is well in Divya’s life, until Cosmo goes missing and she begins to receive videos of the dog being tortured. Divya tries frantically to find Cosmo and the psycho who is abusing the dog, but receives little to no help from the police, who prioritize human cases over that of an animal. It is only when a politician’s daughter, who is also a social media influencer, goes missing that the police begin to piece together that her disappearance may be connected to Cosmo as well. But can they find the dog before it’s too late and reunite him with Divya?

Review: The major selling point for director Prashantt Chandraah’s #Mute was that danseuse and actress Archana Jois, better known for her portrayal of young Rocky Bhai’s mother in the KGF series, was playing the lead in his film. It is common for filmmakers to milk the popularity of the cast to get the cash registers ringing, but making that the sole focus points to a lack of confidence in the subject being presented. Prashantt’s story revolves around a divorcee, whose primary source of solace is her dog, who gets a lot of social media attention. What she does to find the dog after he is ‘taken’ forms the crux of the narrative and herein lies the problem.


Prashantt tries valiantly to establish how important the dog is to the protagonist’s life and the extends she will go to find him. Trouble is that after a film like 777 Charlie, there is a certain expectation of how the bond between a pet and its parent should be. Here, the dog Cosmo couldn’t care less who he is with as long as he is fed – he reacts the same way he does to Divya (Archana) as he does to his eventual tormentor too, all docile and comfortable in the company of the person. And this is supposed to be a dog that’s tormenting the neighbourhood with his energetic barking and what not. More importantly, for someone struggling with a lost pet, Divya is quite nonchalant.

The villain in the tale turns out to be someone who frowns upon pet parents who value their pets more than other human beings. Valid as that may be, the reason many of us ill-treat animals is not just because they are mute and do not retaliate. It’s because there’s no fear of punitive action. The laws in this country are outdated by several decades and not animal friendly. This is what needs to change and only then will you stop seeing homemakers drowning puppies/kittens, domesticated (and wild) animals tied up, beaten, run over, flung from terraces, or, even worse, fed crackers, among others.

The purpose of #Mute is that Prashantt attempts to highlight this and urges people to raise their voices for the ‘mute’. A noble thought, but one that only makes sense if it is supported by a legal system. Otherwise, this voice will just remain one of many comments on a ‘now-viral-soon-to-be-forgotten’ social media post.

Archana Jois and Siddaartha Maadhyamika as besties share the most uncomfortable chemistry one has seen onscreen in a while. Their individual performances are also lacklustre and do not inspire interest in the narrative.

Verdict: #Mute should have been a short film, at best, focusing on the frantic search for a lost pet, and system’s failure/inability to punish perpetrators of animal cruelty. Right now, even at under two-hours runtime, it is not worth the effort. 

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