#REVIEW: “BIG MUDDY”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
First-time Feature Writer and Director Jefferson Moneo makes an ambitious debut with Big Muddy. The thought-provoking Melodrama is riddled with open-ended questions and a slow-unfolding story, accompanied by an excellent Score that not only keeps your eyes peeled on the screen, but also your ears.
Big Muddy focuses on a modern-day Outlaw, Martha (Nadia Litz), her Boyfriend Tommy (Rossif Sutherland) and Martha’s Son Andy (Justin Kelly). Martha being the Rebel that she is, befriends some people from the underworld and somehow crosses them, or something to that effect as it is unclear why. We spend much of the time trying to unlock their mysterious backstories.
While Andy is at the Racetrack one night, he runs into Buford (James Le Gros) and Buck (Alan Bratt) who pressure Andy about his Mother and if she will be at the Track next week. When Andy tells Martha whom he ran into at the Track, she takes it upon herself to take care of things on her own, something that does not sit well with Tommy. Upon arriving at the Racetrack the next day, Buford and Buck approach Martha and Andy and we learn a bit about their past history before the latter two are coerced into a car, to be driven-off and killed. Tommy intervenes and pulls a gun on Buford and Buck, startling their prized Racehorse, and as a result Tommy accidentally kills the animal. The anger is ignited further within Buford and Buck as they are in hot pursuit of Tommy, Martha, and Andy. Big Muddy takes us on-the-run off the Racetrack with Martha and Andy to stay alive.
Big Muddy is reminiscent of your classic B-Film and if anything is a strong showing of craftsmanship on the part of Moneo, even though its pacing might not be for everyone. Also at times, we feel the Story perhaps needed a bit more fleshing-out in its transition to a Feature Film from a Short.
The diminutive and captivating Litz delivers a fantastic performance as a protective Mother whom through her past actions – exactly what we’re not quite sure – has managed to place her Son in grave danger. Le Gros and Bratt are convincing, both menacing presences.
Union Pictures release Big Muddy in select theatres beginning Friday, May 29, 2015.