Promising Premise, Poor Plot
What’s on point though is the depiction of the nuances of the human psyche.
We all desire a life where our choices are independent of others’ opinions, but it’s easier wished for than achieved. Muted, on Netflix, written as a psychological thriller, explores such complexities. The Spanish series, however, doesn’t quite realise the potential of its promising premise.
Sergio (Arón Piper) is released from detention six years after committing parricide. To discern whether he is ready for society, psychiatrist Ana Dussuel (Almudena Amor) takes up an assignment in collaboration with the state to secretly watch him. The first episode opens in a quiet environment only to turn into gory chaos, setting the tone for a thriller. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger, intriguing enough to keep the audience engaged. But, as the narrative progresses, the writing doesn’t build on the early chills. The plot doesn’t explain the strange events, not until the final moments of the show.
Some compensation comes in the form of the varied characters that populate the world. There’s a cop, an evangelical tutor, and several officials associated with Ana’s assignment. Muted would have been more engaging had the supporting cast been well etched out. Unfortunately, for the production, the focus is unilaterally on the twists and turns.
What’s on point though is the depiction of the nuances of the human psyche. Through the representation of Ana’s mental state, we see an unflinching obsession entangled with love, lust and childhood trauma. One also feels tempted to draw parallels to Jodie Corner’s obsessive assassin in the BBC series, Killing Eve.
Muted could have been a simple police procedural, the kind that is available dime a dozen on streaming platforms these days. The makers did not go for the formula, and the series does try hard to make a mark. It should have tried harder.
Director: Aitor Gabilondo