I think this is a really good movie – but I wdn’t say I ‘enjoyed’ it as much as I appreciate it. The story is a lot deeper than the events and probably requires someone better than me to write about it.
Clearly there’s dysfunction all over, but there’s 3 main relationships: Mud and Juniper, Ellis’s parents and Ellis and his girlfriend (he thinks), May Pearl.
All fall apart and Ellis’s dad tells him “you can’t trust love.” or something like that.
Ellis wants to trust love, but finds out that Juniper is going to walk away, his parents can’t make it work and they lose the house-boat and May Pearl completely rejects him.
However, friendship seems to come through in spades. Tom shows up to save Mud’s life and even leaves everything he owns to take off w/ Mud. And he boys help Mud all along the way.
All around this vehicle (literally) of the boat. It starts out in a tree – a picture of how everything is messed up and broken. Through friendship, trust and work, they get it fixed up and back in the water – things can be made right and they can provide escape, safety and freedom.
There’s a lot more to this movie. I’d love to hear someone explain the various pieces like the uncle diving for pearls and the dad’s fish business, etc. So much going on.
But I think maybe I’m a bit too jaded to buy into the love story here – or maybe I’m too wise not to see that the ‘love’ relationships aren’t going to be enough. Love isn’t going to save them and their love won’t ultimately make them work things out, etc.
The best scene, to me, was when Ellis falls into the snakes and Mud is like a superhero saving him. He knows the danger first hand and doesn’t think of himself for a second until it’s over. Again, friendship wins.