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.