A Reluctant Hero
El mudo is, paradoxically, the only character willing to speak up in this tragicomedy directed by Peruvian brothers Daniel and Diego Vega. As a judge devoted to the principles of the law, Constantino faces a system of corruption that a "silent" majority, including his own family, seems to participate in or submit to.
After a striking opening scene exposes his contempt for moral weakness and mediocrity, Constantino is catapulted into a moral crisis by what looks like a double punishment for his overblown good intentions: a professional downgrade and a gunshot out of nowhere which leaves him as good as mute. Pathetic, the little judge appears as a deformed growth aborted by the body that produced him. After their Cannes success and Kaurismäki homage Octubre, the Vega brothers, in just two films, have affirmed a penchant for reluctant heroes marked by the legacy of an admired lost parent; dogmatic men whose intransigence has left them friendless and obliged to recognize the dead-end their solitary crusade got them into.
Maturing from a sober mix of absurd humor and elegantly shot melancholy, the Vega brothers welcome genre elements with a whodunit mystery, as well as a subtle and dark moral questioning.