March 24, 2015

Big Muddy (2014)

Big Muddy (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Jefferson Moneo
Country: Canada

Movie Review: Debutant director Jefferson Moneo falls short in his inglorious attempt to turn “Big Muddy” (based on his 2011 short film) into a memorable neo-noir thriller with glimpses of western. Amid the many reasons that contributed to its non-accomplishment, we can point as the most determinant: an overfamiliar plot that was also disjointed, inexpressively dry characters, and a dismal approach. Probing a troubled family with a lot to clear up, both in the past and present, the film opens with an ireful man shooting two cops in the woods after escaping prison. Donovan is the fugitive, and his most probable next move is to look for Martha Barlow, the mother of his teenage son, Andy. The misunderstood Martha is a horse connoisseur turned outlaw, being involved in a series of violent robberies perpetrated in the company of her immature, jealous boyfriend, Tommy. Evidently, she’s not an example to be followed by Andy, who will confirm a sort of bad seed cursing the family; beyond stealing money from his mother, he shows no remorse when pulling the trigger on Buck Corber, Martha’s dodger former lover. The latter had already finished Tommy off, after having been hoodwinked by him in the most ludicrous scene of the film. Martha sees no other possibility beyond fleeing to Big Muddy and ask her estranged father for shelter. The confused Andy is the one who doesn’t know exactly what to do when he finds himself between a father who wants his family back and a grandfather who wants to teach him how hard is being a farmer. The title Big Muddle would have fit better, and not even the shootout scenes put away our enervation. Leaving much to be explained, especially concerning the characters’ past, Mr. Moneo’s writing would benefit if more definite and diligent toward a tight storytelling.

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