I was really impressed with “Mud”.
Despite its oddly disjointed film style and its uneven focus, “Mud” is an extraordinarily powerful story, strangely like a dark version of “Stand By Me”, if you can believe that.
Basically, there’s a dirt poor family living in a trailer park near a big stand of woods and a swamp nearby. The family is made up of three kids (two boys and a girl), a dad who frequently drinks large quantities of any likker he can get his hands on, and an enormous hulk of a mother trying to hold it all together living in a fairly small trailer next to a barn. The barn is host to an honest-to-God museum of a local monster figure in local folklore, just proving that these guys are going to soon be God’s gift to Jerry Springer.
One day, the two boys of the family, who enjoy playing in the woods, find something near the swamp that’s going to permanently change their entire family. And it’s not an overturned Brinks truck.
I’d tell you what, but I swear to every deity that’ll pay attention it’ll ruin the surprise ending. And there will be a surprise ending here. It is a godawful honking behemoth of a surprise. It is a surprise bigger than, well, the woman who played the mother. .
Which is what was great about “Mud”. Here’s this half-flashback, half-current event that requires careful attention. Once you got to the end of the road, everything falls together with an almost audible “click!” and makes perfect sense. It’s intensely satisfying, having careful attention pay off in such a fantastic fashion, including a happy ending!
All in all, “Mud” is well worth watching, and well worth the attention required to get the most out of it.