The Mule, Review

What Say’s Mr. Ahwaan about ‘The Mule’

“A slow-paced, touching drama that blends crime and emotions and benefits from Eastwood’s compelling performance”

Loosely based on a true story, Clint Eastwood directed #TheMule chronicles the tumultuous life of a war veteran turned horticulturist, Earl Stone(played by Eastwood), who became successful as a mule transporting drugs for a Mexican cartel and apparently, it was published in New York based Times Magazine sometime back.

Earl, described as a charming old devil at a felicitation ceremony, has always prioritized work over family and has failed as a husband and as a father. Struggling to meet his financial needs and save his property from foreclosure, he takes up the risky job of the mule, so that he can also fund his granddaughter’s education- the only person who has a soft corner for him.

Designed as a slow-burning crime drama, the narrative coasts along lazily familiarizing us with Earl’s iterative drives to the drug hub along the scenic and lush-green Texas-Mexico borders , while bringing in an element of thrill with Colin Bates( Bradley Cooper), a narcotics agent hellbent to bust his and stop the humungous drug traficking in his area. 

It is pretty much an ordinary tale and plays out at a singular momentum, but Eastwood beautifully couples the human emotions with the repercussions of crime. The strained sentimentality which works as an undercurrent in the film genuinely tugs at your heartstrings with a sombre background score and renders it as a compelling craft, if not his best work.Emphatically conveying the world-weariness, remorse and guilt , Eastwood delivers a noteworthy performance without a hint of affectation. 

Bradley Cooper, Lawrence Fisburne , Andy Garcia and Michael Penna are singularly one-note , but fit in the impressive backdrop effectively. It is Dianne Wiest, playing Earl’s ex-wife Mary, who moves you with a heartwarming portrayal.

I go with 3/5 for The Mule. Watch it if you are in awe of Clint Eastwood’s style of film making.

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