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Movie review: Mud is a film with heart, a hunk and a lovable teenager

by Nikhil Taneja  May 5, 2013 10:05 IST

#Matthew McConaughey   #MovieReview   #Mud  

It’s easy to miss a film like Mud amidst the cacophony of trailers and posters promising that your world is ending and only their movie can save you. It’s even easier to miss a film like Mud since, having had a limited release in the USA (and without the power of ALL CAPS MARKETING), it’s miraculous that it even reached Indian theatres. Turns out you have no option but to miss a film like Mud, when you reach a theatre and find the show is cancelled since you are the only one who wants to see it (happened twice).

A still from Mud. IBN Live.

A still from Mud. IBN Live.

In such a dismal scenario, you need to really WANT to watch Mud, and only then shall it happen. And that’s why I’m going to convince you to watch the film (and I will use CAPS LOCK wherever necessary):

 

1. It’s got Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon! Yay!

Ladies, as you all know, Matthew McConaughey is the hunk who has starred in some of your favourite romcoms ever – How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, The Wedding Planner, Failure to Launch, yadayadayada. And remember, he is a HUNK. Actress Reese Witherspoon is the chick who has also starred in some of your favourite romcoms ever – Sweet Home Alabama, Just Like Heaven, er... Legally Blonde, and more! And she is CUTE! Don’t these two make for a gorgeous couple? YES, THEY DO!

Gentlemen, please ignore the above paragraph and consider this – over the past couple of years, McConaughey has taken the pains to reinvent himself as an ‘actor’ so he may not be just that hunk who is sold to women audiences as nothing but a piece of meat. If you are a fan of big-budget flicks, then you would’ve seen his kickass performances in The Lincoln Lawyer and Tropic Thunder. And if you are a fan of cinema, you would’ve (or SHOULD BE SEEING) his outstanding turns as a contract killer in William Friedkin’s Killer Joe; as a district attorney in Richard Linklater’s Bernie; and as a stripper in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike. McConaughey’s set his mind to redemption and in case you still have your doubts, know that he’s been cast in Christopher Nolan’s next! As for Reese Witherspoon, consider this: she’s HOT.

 

2. It’s inspired by Mark Twain

Remember how we used to love reading the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as kids? Remember how we never got to do so because life sucks and the Mississippi is on the other side of the planet? So Mud is about two young lads, 14-year-old Ellis (a phenomenal Tye Sheridan) and his very own Luka Brasi, 11-year-old Neckbone (a badass Jacob Lofland) who stumble upon a convict on the run, Mud (McConaughey), who’s trying to reunite with the love of his life, Juniper (Witherspoon). And for the love of love, as well as the love of an adventure, the two kids decide to help Mud.

 

3. It’s a classic coming of age story

While the story of Mud deals with adventure and love, it’s really the story of Ellis, who is on the cusp of adulthood, has the mind of a grown up, but the heart and innocence of a child. Through his friendship with Mud and the course of the film, Ellis learns how that first kiss feels, how it hurts when your heart gets broken, and everything about love and life. Mud is a classic coming of age story, and it will have you smiling and remembering the good ole days.

 

4. It’s directed by the guy who made Take Shelter

If you haven’t yet seen Take Shelter, then you have missed one of the best films of 2011, one of the best psychological thrillers of recent times as well as the advent of one of the brightest talents in Hollywood today, Michael Shannon. If you’ve seen this Jeff Nichols work of art, you wouldn't need any further convincing to watch Mud. If you haven’t, I suggest you stop reading further and rent a DVD NOW.

 

5. It’s got heart

Admittedly, it’s got an unevenly paced screenplay, Michael Shannon has a forced cameo, and director Jeff Nichols could do well with a better editor for his films, but the movie’s got charm. It’s warm, it’s endearing, and it will, even if briefly, take you back to that time of your life that you cherish with all your heart. Because whether or not it’s a perfect film, it’s a film that’s got heart, and in a time like ours, that’s a beautiful, rare quality indeed.