Sundance London 2013: Mud
Saturday 27th April, 6pm – O2 Cineworld (Screen 7)
Sunday 28th April, 3pm – O2 Cineworld (Screen 7)
When two young teenagers discover that a fugitive has been using their secret hangout as a refuge, questions of trust, love and relationships arise amid the unravelling of a riveting story.
Mud is a beautifully shot and elegantly put together film that introduces us to two friends, Ellis and Neckbone. Both live in Arkansas: Neckbone with his laid-back uncle and Ellis with his pragmatic father and unhappy mother. In their spare time, the boys venture to a little island where their tree hideout resides.
When mysterious, pistol-bearing stranger Mud claims this space, the boys are fascinated by his character. They decide to trust Mud’s exciting and tragic story of his love for a beautiful blonde named Juniper and how he shot a man to protect her.
Ellis struggles with his crush on a senior called May Pearl and is told his parents are splitting up. He wants to help Mud and Juniper because their story demosntrates a belief in true, lasting love that he desperately wants to hold onto.
The problem is that Mud, despite all his cool talk and relaxed nature, is just as troubled when it comes to love. His relationship with Juniper is not as grand a love story as it seems and is instead full of complications and mistakes. His relationship with his childhood guardian Tom is also fractured because of this.
The character of Mud becomes a catalyst for bringing to light unsettled emotions, which is key to the film’s exploration of the bonds between father and son, mother and father, girlfriend and boyfriend. This also sets into motion a consideration of maturity, as Ellis regards the mistakes Mud and his father have made, marking the coming-of-age aspect to the movie. Mud concentrates on that stage when you start to see the cracks in those you look up to and realise they are as flawed as any other human being.
A magnificent cast of powerful actors keep the story tense and curious throughout, along with illuminating the poetic themes that rest at the heart of its message. Matthew McConaughey is particularly perfect as the troubled and intriguing lead. Having been known previously for his often one-dimensional roles in rom-coms, this part and his soul-stirring performance really demonstrates the recent turnaround of his career.
Mud may be slow-paced for the most part, but this only helps the film create such well-developed, defined characters and makes the actions scenes all the more jaw-dropping. A must-see movie.
Mud is released nationwide on 10th May 2013.
Read more reviews from the Sundance Film and Music Festival 2013 here.
For further information about the Sundance Film and Music Festival 2013 visit here.
Watch the trailer for Mud here: