Short Film Review “Muddy”

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First, the Recap:

Let’s be really honest with ourselves–we’ve all wanted to be someone or something else at some point in our lives. This seems to arise when our current existence has become, perhaps, stagnant, unexciting, repetitive, humdrum, or maybe just plain boring. For one suburban father and husband, Muddy Atkins (Craig Allard), this precise level of burnout seems to reach fever pitch more often than he would care to endure. Going through the routine home-owner related duties day in and day out, he finally finds a moment to steal away to a favorite getaway spot–the basement.

Flipping on the television with intent to take in a favorite show for escape, a knock at the basement’s door to the outside interrupts his reverie’s initiation. With no answer back to his calls, Muddy heads to the door, exiting to the back yard pool area, looking around for the mysterious visitor. Within moments, he is suddenly transported to the high seas, finding himself the one in charge, and aiming for epic adventures as his crew reacts to his every word.  With storms on the horizon, choices are made that will test them all and show once and for all if Muddy has what it takes to be Captain. Oh, meanwhile, back in reality—.

Next, my Mind:

Directed by New Hampshire-based filmmaker Tom Kearney and written/produced by Rob Azevedo, this humorously written and simply enacted indie short paints a wonderful picture of the entire concept of absconding from the real world into another we so desperately wish was our actuality. Illustrating how so many of the daily tasks we find ourselves immersed in can indeed become rather monotonous, the film quickly establishes Muddy’s intention to seek solitude and solace from it all, and do it in a way that puts him as the leader, the one calling the shots, the head cheese, good ole numero uno. Additionally clever is the effective and creative way Muddy is “transported” into his little seafaring fantasy, relishing every moment, being a complete part of it–until the real world knocks him back into his regular existence.

Allard is quite the image of a totally beleaguered and yearning man in his role as Muddy, doing a great job at showing both the physical and mental toll his life seems to be besieging him with. When he does finally manage to go to his happy place, it’s a fun transformation to view, as he truly becomes a different, energetic, more confident individual in that context vs. when his real life comes back around and, well, that’s that. Supporting moments from Azevedo himself along with John Duris, Will Cosgrove, and Denis Casey as the hearty crew under Muddy’s command are fun and most certainly recall the show the fantasy is based on. Add the appearance of Joe Coulombe as Muddy’s “ticket” to paradise, plus Cheryl McKeever and Danielle and Leo Azevedo as Muddy’s family–Muddy’s story is complete.

Overall, “Muddy” is fun and witty, yet can really make you take a look at how we so often let things in life become too stale, lacking any sense of purpose, and therefore we require a break from it, at least for a spell.  Perhaps that’s the magic behind this short film effort–it isn’t that family or routine things in our lives are bad, but it’s more that sometimes, we really do need to take time for ourselves and enjoy a little calming adventure–even if it’s just in our heads.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!


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