Ellis and Neckbone are two young boys living in the deep south. One day while they are out exploring the Mississippi they come accross a mysterious man named Mud, who is hiding out on a deserted island. While skeptical at first, the boys make a pact with Mud, agreeing to help him find the love of his life, Juniper, and escape down the Mississippi river. Its no secret that Jeff Nichols has a deep affinity for Southern tales and with Mud he has crafted another intriguing and contemplative gothic tale. Nichols style is rather restrained with Mud but the film uses the Southern setting to great effect, establishing the world these characters live in with establishing shots that give the film a meditative quality. Mud is a film draped in mystery and the film does a wonderful job at creating this sense of intrigue centered around Mud's character, a trait that remains prevalent through most of the films running time. I found myself enamored by this character but constantly at arms reach, not sure if Mud is a character who can actually be trusted. As we follow these two boys, we begin to see how both Ellis and Neckbone's lives mirror Mud's in one way or another. Neckbone's connection is much more trivial - being a young boy who never knew his parents, but Ellis' connection is very prevalent to the theme, being a young boy who believes he is in love with a girl from school. Mud wears its intentions pretty solely on its sleeve, being a film interested in dissecting the emotions centered around love. Almost every character in the film (Ellis, Mud, Ellis' parents) are dealing with their emotions but Nicohols intentions are never entirely clear. Is he trying to comment on how love is hard work? or maybe how people sometimes confuse the meaning of love? I'm not sure, but perhaps that is the point because Nichols' opinion on this matter never feels completely defined, being rather enigmatic, similar to how our emotions and love itself is hard to quantify.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.