CFF Review: Robert G. Putka’s ‘Mister Limbo’
A meandering yet meaningful exploration of what it means to be “a good person” in a world filled with so much moral grey area, Robert G. Putka’s “Mister Limbo” is a heartfelt mumblecore dramedy set in a surreal desert wasteland. Though it’s setting is fairly fantastical it doesn’t rely on visual effects or lean too heavily on the gimmick of the location to drive the story, instead presenting you with relatable, realistic characters that are both instantly likable and quirky in their own ways.
You’re dropped (quite literally) into this desert wasteland alongside “Mister Limbo” himself, also known as “Enrico” by his newfound colleague Craig. Together the two of them will traverse this arid terrain in search of, well, anything at all to explain what’s going on. Along the way they’ll encounter other “survivors” who will shed light on their shared situation and what it all means for them in the end. Despite the wide variety of tones present in each of these interactions, they add a level of depth to the world in a way that feels very organic while still maintaining the films overall air of mystery.
The performances are what carry the movie, and they’re all pretty stellar. The titular character is played by Hugo De Sousa, who gives a performance that feels emotionally genuine and very nuanced. Vig Norris brings Craig to life hilariously well with a level of emotion that will really disarm you, especially in the second half. The secondary characters are a mixture of bizarre, dangerous, and sometimes helpful individuals that keep the interactions feeling fresh. The story is incredibly deep, and though it doesn’t necessarily tread new ground with it’s overarching message it manages to present a unique and nuanced depiction of it’s ideas in a way that’s extremely creative.
It’s beautifully shot, with some striking landscapes and excellent framing throughout, in addition to some well executed trippy visuals at times to represent the effects of the characters having a psychedelic experience. The way the characters dress is wildly varied also, which adds even more flavor to the already interesting and pleasing aesthetic. The pacing is where the mileage is going to vary for most viewers, as it’s quite slow and spends a lot of time following the characters seemingly meandering around. This feels as if it’s intentional, so some viewers will find it to empower the storytelling while others will likely find it rather boring and as if it makes the film feel slightly dragged out.
Overall there’s a lot of laughs to be had throughout the course of the film’s one hundred eight minute runtime, as well as plenty of hard-hitting emotional moments that will have you pondering their messages long after the credits roll. If you’re interested in mumblecore dramas with a fantastical and darkly humorous spin, this is one you most definitely won’t want to miss. “Remember, everything is everything!”