Writer: Ashley Bow
It's rare to find a movie that makes me sit at the end and stare at the screen. A perfect ending. Something that fits so well. It's rare to find a movie that really moves something inside of me and creates feeling of peace.
Mudbound did just that. Released on Netflix on Nov 17, it has left me wondering “how did I not hear about this sooner?” This movie should have claimed headlines and filled my Twitter feed. Though I suppose, normally, historical fiction movies don't tend to fare that well in a world where our government is a reality show in and of itself.
Now, I don't usually like war movies. The blood and the violence make me turn my head. Mudbound was set in World War 2, sometimes right in the thick of the fight. I watched a man’s head shot and saw him lay collapsed in a fighter plane. Thankfully, Mudbound is not a war movie.
Mudbound is about hope.
I crave movies like that. In an era focused on pain and suffering, so many movies and books and TV shows close on a dose of reality which can make the ending hard to swallow. And while the Netflix Original (obviously) based itself on reality, it ended on hope and kept a theme of hope throughout its entirety. Church hymns juxtaposed themselves with atrocity, love fought its way past war, and a disrespected hero found a companion who had learned to look past the surface.
I especially admire whoever made the decision not to focus on a character but on a situation. With the switching off of narrators, the viewer can more easily understand the motives and the reasoning behind the film. It took a look at the racial issues of the time through the eyes of everyone involved, a decision I applaud as a means not to polarize or exclude any viewer.
Overall, Mudbound told a story of loss and gain, of happiness and pain, of triumph and defeat, of despair and hope. The way the story ended itself tied in a tidy bow is exactly what I hoped to find when beginning the movie.