For local boys Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), the Mississippi River provides a playground in the form of an island. There is a boat stranded there and their plan is to fix it up for themselves. However, one day they travel to the island to find someone is living on their boat. They leave in a hurry but meet the man inhabiting their boat on the rivers edge. He introduces himself as Mud (Matthew McConaughey) and soon the boys find out that he is in the run from the law after killing a man who beat up his girlfriend, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), and that the family of the man are now out to get him. After the boys vow to reunite the lovers and help them to flee those searching for them, the three of them form a close friendship which proves to be worth its weight in gold.
Mud is a superb coming-of-age drama that will stick with viewers for a long time. Drawn to watching it by the man who played the title character and the great things I had heard about it, I was expecting big things from this film. It hit my expectations and then some.
The cast did a wonderful job. I’ll start with McConaughey first. When people talk about Mud, the main thing they talk about are the two main performances, so I’ll give my impression of the first one. This is one of my favourite roles I’ve seen McConaughey in, and I’ve seen him in a fair number of roles now. There were obviously the visual things he always brings to the table, but for me, McConaughey seemed really at home as Mud, which would make sense due to the way he grew up in the part of the world he grew up in. To see this portrayed on-screen was very enjoyable to watch.
The second lead role was that played by Sheridan. It is often a real gamble giving such a substantial role to someone so young, especially when it would be in this role that the majority of people would see him for the first time. However, it is gamble that certainly paid off here. Sheridan played Ellis very naturally with such ease and was a match for every other big name he was on-screen with. I see big things in his future.
The story was equally as good as the acting. The best thing about Mud is the fact that it is a very believable, realistic story that shows the lives of characters that could very easily have been real people. I think that is why it is a film that will stick with anyone who takes the time to watch it. The story is something that could very easily happen to someone if it hasn’t already, and the dialogue is very natural, and all this helps you to connect with the characters even more.
All in all, I strongly urge you to go out and watch Mud. It truly is a magnificent film – I can’t think of any better way to put it. As I’ve said, the story and characters are totally believable and so you root for them right from the second you are introduced to them, meaning you won’t be able to leave the film until it is finished and you’ll probably have no problems watching it again either.