When it’s over, what’s love got to do with it? Everything. Matthew McConaughey is Mud, a man hiding out on a small deserted island in Arkansas, USA. He enlists the help of two boys, Ellis and Neckbone (Tye Sheridan & Jacob Lofland), who help him rejoin with the love of his life. Mud is essentially a love story about loss, regret, and misunderstanding; and amid the heart’s misfortunes, there is a silver lining, which is the unsaid love between children and their parents, the bond that frays but never breaks. This silver lining plays a huge role in the outcomes of the characters, but do not expect any sappiness, because there are none. There are fights and shoot-outs, but these are not the selling features of Mud. This is not the conventional love story viewers are accustomed to. Love does not conquer all. Love is poisonous, as described symbolically in scenes with the venomous snakes. Long lasting love is an ideal that lives in the mind, and not tangible in the real world, as portrayed through the unstable relationships between the characters. Love is deceitful, as shown in scenes between Ellis and May Pearl (Bonnie Stirdivant), and Ellis and Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). It may seem like the film takes a negative view on love, but it actually does not. It tries to mirror life and the realities of first love and falling out of love, by putting the characters in physically harsh environments and in turn, hardening their outlook. This makes the characters re-evaluate the meaning of love - its consequences and its value. McConaughey is no disappointment as the fugitive who is blinded by love; but it is Sheridan's performance that keeps me captivated as an idealistic youth who desperately wants to believe in true love.
My rating: 4 out of 5
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