Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tye
Sheridan, Jacob Lofland
Direction: Jeff Nichols
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
STORY: Two friends meet a man hiding out in the woods who’s on the run. They help him try and escape to freedom and to reunite with his lady love.
MOVIE REVIEW: Ellis ( Tye Sheridan) and his best friend Neckbone ( Jacob Lofland) are a 21st century Huckleberry Finn-style duo. They ride scooters, fish, sail, know every inch of their Arkansas hometown and even find a secret hideaway on an island – a boat stuck atop a tree! But their island idyll and the boat have an inhabitant. His name is Mud. Tattooed, superstitious, dishevelled and packing a .45 calibre, Mud (McConaughey) tells the boys that he’s a fugitive, dodging bounty-hunting assassins. He’s also trying to trace his girl Juniper (Witherspoon, oozing sex appeal) who’s a hoochie gal with a soft heart for bad boys.
Mud makes a deal with the two – he offers Neck his .45 in return for food. Intrigued and charmed in equal measure, the boys agree. But is Mud a man worth helping? Is he a good guy caught between a rock and a hard place or a scoundrel with no scruples, who plays the sympathy card well? A grizzled Sam Shephard – a deadshot with a sniper rifle – knows Mud since childhood and warns the kids about him. But Ellis, who’d like to see Mud and Juniper reunite, and Neck, the deadpan-delivery voice of reason, pay no heed.
A coming-of-age story with more than a few moments of menace, the film’s languid pace matches the humid atmosphere of the Mississippi delta setting. The visuals are amazing, with a tinge of surrealism. The cinematography is lush and the dialogues deftly delivered. The Southern folks embody values like trust, a good work ethic, honesty and loyalty. Ellis is, however, the true hero of this film.