I saw the movie called Mud a couple of weeks ago, and it’s still on my mind. The setting is Arkansas. The story is about two boys who find a man camping on a nearby island in the Mississippi and how this triggers a complex situation with many twists and turns.
There are two main things I really liked about the movie. I am drawn to stories of young people who are trying to make sense of the world. For this reason, I really liked the novel called Water For Elephants. There are so many things that these kids don’t understand: so much going on under the surface and it’s so confusing. As adults I think we still try to make sense of reality but more of our “dots” are connected and we have wisdom and experience to draw on. For youth, often their idealism encounters reality and, along with the inevitable disappointment, a lot of growth can occur.
The second thing I liked about the movie is that I saw it as an exploration of love. What does it mean when people are married: will they really love each other forever? In helping a stranger can be loving… but what is your motivation, and at what cost? In this movie we see love in many forms – both romantic love and more endearing love between old friends. We see boys coming of age and learning about how people relate to one another and that maybe things aren’t as they seem. I found toward the end of the movie that I was sobbing… and hoping for some kind of redemption. It came, and not in a predictable, slick way but rather understated, really.
It’s a movie that has really stayed with me. It captured the feel of life in a small Arkansas town and life for two boys growing up there. I found when I got out of the movie theatre it took a while to adjust to being in my city. To me, that’s a mark of an engaging movie.
Have you seen Mud? What did you think?