Living in Georgetown, Guyana, Muscle struggles to make ends meet. He raises songbirds, and chickens for cock fighting, always hoping for a chance to live in middle class. While he attempts to make the best of the life that he has, he’s also trying to keep his mother, Mary, healthy. With a painful life behind her, 75-year-old Mary spends her days reciting poetry and drinking to forget. After falling numerous times while walking in town, Muscle has decided to keep her in their home, making sure one of his siblings is with her whenever she leaves their property. In The Bastard Sings The Sweetest Song , director Christy Garland captures Muscle’s attempts to keep his mother safe, and shows how mother and son both make the best of the life they have.

The first few moments of the film are lighthearted and a little humorous as Muscle chats with his friend. Mary enters the home, talking to her son about how she always wanted to write a book of poetry and explaining how a little shot was exactly what she needed to finish a poem. Muscle gives her a shot of vodka, and they briefly discuss whether he’s given her enough. It’s very sweet, but is just the beginning of what becomes a rather sad story.

The lives of Mary and her children are revealed in small moments, showing a history of abuse from Mary’s deceased husband. Her drinking is a result of this, attempting to banish the pain of a hard life, and it’s led to her falling down on the road into town. Muscle just wants to keep his mother safe, doing everything he can to break the cycle of violence that his father was a part of. Muscle does this by locking Mary in their home, a misguided attempt at protecting her, but he’s unable to figure out what else can be done. Mary will try to sneak out and frequently finds her way into town, begging for enough money to buy a bottle of beer.

Although their situation is quite sad, Mary and Muscle have a surprisingly positive outlook on life. Muscle just wants to live a middle class life, while Mary will never speak poorly of her husband, despite what he did to their family. This is certainly enough to make anybody take a second look at their life, realizing that no matter how bad things may seem, a hopeful attitude will always save them. The Bastard Sings The Sweetest Song has a lot to say about life, but you’ve got to be willing to listen to learn it.

Is The Bastard Sings The Sweetest Song Opening Weekend Worthy?

This is a great film, but it’s not going to be for everybody. It can be quite sad, although the overall theme is uplifting, so it’s not the relaxing theatre experience some may be looking for. Viewers should also be advised that there is a rather long scene showing cock fighting, a moment that will surely turn some audience members off. The Bastard Sings The Sweetest Song opens January 18, 2013 at The Royal.

The Bastard Sings The Sweetest Song Trailer

The Bastard Sings The Sweetest Song Gallery