Sep 15, 2023
Javier Caberiz, Heidi Kozak Haddad, Matisse Rose Haddad, Joe Tandberg
‘The Mux’ is a bad trip of a film. Its priorities are so far set in the music, and how the beats guide its story, that it fails to tell a compelling, engaging story, and also fails to excel in any technical aspects. It’s a film made for the sole purpose of being a trippy experience, with story and filmmaking only an afterthought.
The film centres around Rex (Javier Caberiz), a DJ who has become jaded from the cycle of fame and fortune that accompanies his profession. These are issues that could be part of a thoughtful exploration into the industry, the psyche attached to such fame, as well as addiction and multiple personality disorder. However, ‘The Mux’ is neither as deep or as profound as it thinks it is, or as it wants to be, and is instead a rather bland trip that, rather than leaving you enlightened will leave you bored and with a bad headache.
Rex is, in all truth, a bit of a narcissistic asshole, acting as a voice for the film in his faux-profundity and philosophical blitherings. He is a character who thinks too highly of himself, believing himself to be the centre of attention, and stirring drama unnecessarily. He reflects the stereotypical portrayal of a pedantic artist amongst those, normally right-wing figures, who disdain the sort. As such his characterisation is alienating and he is a thoroughly difficult character to root for and gain any sort of connection with.
This is characteristic of the weak writing throughout, with the script written by Benjamin Rider, which is further exemplified by further weak characterisations of supporting characters, and the stilted dialogue throughout. Supporting figures such as Samantha (Heidi Kozak Haddad), Joanne (Matisse Rose Haddad), and Borgen (Joe Tandberg), are all trivial figures who flow into and out of Rex’s life, lacking their own distinct personalities and failing to impact Rex, or the story, in a meaningful, compelling, or believable way. This poor writing is further compounded by the dialogue throughout, which is both stiff and stilted, with all characters speaking robotically and in a manner that no human does, feeling forced. This hinders the cast in particular, limiting their performances, though in truth, even without such an abject script there isn’t much to suggest that better performances could have been delivered, with all actors delivering their lines in such a monotonous manner.
Benjamin Rider also directs to similar disappointing affect. The film follows all conventions laid down by previous and superior psychedelic cinema, with random bursts of colour and mindless pondering of reality all filmed so uninterestingly that ‘The Mux’ - meaning the multiplexer - is more likely to put you to sleep than make you believe you’ve had some kind of spiritual awakening. The film is shot without invention or creativity, with music, which is admittedly well mixed and designed, seemingly the priority over story or directorial inspiration.
As such ‘The Mux’ is one trick pony, relying on its competent musical composition whilst all other elements - including those most important to a film (i.e. story and direction) - flounder in the background. It’s an incoherent trip of a film, one that leaves a sour taste in the mouth instead of the awakening that it too self-righteously believes it carries.