Plot via Sundance:
Feña, a young trans guy bustling through life in New York City, is afflicted with an incessantly challenging day that resurrects ghosts from his past. Laundromats, subway turnstiles, and airport transfers are the hectic background to this emotional drama that overlaps past, present, and future. Settling the disharmony of transitional upheaval in relationships familial, romantic, and platonic is Feña’s task at hand, and his resulting juggling act is equal parts skillful, fumbling, and honest. In negotiating his obliqueness, the poignant moments he finds between himself and others — as the distance between them closes — are warm, true, and touching.
Mutt is a day in the life of transgender character, Fena (Lio Mehiel) that tries to cram too much. These films work better if they have a chance to breathe and grow. Pick one or two things explore them fully and trust the audience to fill in the echoes.
The plot focuses on tidying up emotional loose ends. For Fena it’s between her ex and his father who is coming to visit.
Fena meets her ex, John (Cole Doman) at a queer party. There is the suggestion he met Fena before he started to transition. John is fascinated by Fena’s new appearance. For Fena, there still is attraction, the hope for second chances. Soon they are seeking refuge from the heat and the rain. Eventually, they shelter in their desire. They devour each other after Fena shows John his new man chest.
The rest of Fena is best shown in a plot description. So here it comes if you haven’t read the one above:
In the morning, John, curiosity sated, has decide that Fena is not his future. But there is still the desire. And her. And the hope of second chances for Fena. Awkward dialogue from John. The kind that suggests he just wants to be friends. But he also doesn’t know the words to say to him.
They met in the heat. For the final time they will meet in the rain, in a dark quiet part of his mother’s house. And there it will all die in absolute truth.
For Fena’s father (Alejandro Goic) it’s easier. He has accepted Fena’s trans identity and just wants reconciliation and contact. Fena hasn’t fully resolved her mixed feelings for him, but the movie is in no hurry, to attend to that. She must return to John and have their sad final scene. The father is left alone. He tell him he loves him. The father consoles himself with pictures of his little girl when she still wanted to be one.
It’s all tries to be understanding and subtle, but it’s all heat and rain and angst, with very little layers in between. There is no space to breath, just cry before the next plot analysis point occurs.
Mutt gets a 3 out of 5 or a B.
STEPHEN SCOTT SCARPULLA
LUCKY 13 PRODUCTIONS
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY