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The Independent Critic

Katie Kleiger, Molly Ryman, Gavin Nienaber, Sara Marsh, Henry Constable, and Parker Miller
Shane Meuwissen
13 Mins.

 "Stuck in Mute" a Meaningful, Honest Film 
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Robin (Katie Kleiger) is a young woman stuck in mute in writer/director Shane Meuwissen's thought-provoking and emotionally honest short film Stuck in Mute, a film that goes inside Robin's isolated world surrounded by a society that demands she speak. When she becomes unlikely friends with a young boy, Jay (Gavin Nienaber), Robin suddenly learns that every word counts.

Avoiding histrionics and an overly sympathetic approach, Meuwissen has crafted an intelligent and thoughtful film led by the insightful performance of Katie Kleiger, whose portrayal of Robin is disciplined and nicely nuanced. In particular, Kleiger enjoys a wonderful chemistry with young Gavin Nienaber, a chemistry that relies on physicality given the lack of verbal communication.

The always wonderful Molly Ryman, whom I've reviewed in such films as New York Lately, ... Around and Things I Don't Understand, adds some nice touches as the therapist trying to reach Robin, while Sara Marsh has a brief yet memorable scene as Gavin's mother.

The recently completed Stuck in Mute is just beginning its festival run and should have good success among the ultra-indie fests and possibly fests related to mental health and possibly even disability.

For more information on Stuck in Mute, visit the film's Facebook page linked to in the credits on the left.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  

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    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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