Mudbound (2017) – Review

An impressive and equally as emotional tale of two men that return home from their World War 2 exploits to continue working for their respective families in Mississippi. One of the families being black and the other being white – they are forced to share the same patch of land but the relationship that the two returning veterans strike up begins to take center stage in a time of segregation and hatred. A really good movie and insight into what life must have been like for families from contrasting backgrounds during this era.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Director: Dee Rees
Writers: Dee Rees, Virgil Williams, Hillary Jordan
Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Jonathan Banks

I think it’s safe to say that this could be defined as a pretty eye-opening movie for anybody that has the chance to watch this one. It managed to highlight a large amount of racism that people of colour experienced in rural America during World War 2 in a way that made you sympathise for the victims and deplore the antagonists responsible. Not only did it highlight themes such as racism, it also dipped into the aftermath that soldiers faced in terms of post traumatic stress disorder and much more.

With that being said however, I can certainly appreciate some of the critics that claimed this flick didn’t focus on one single part of the story and perhaps ventured off into multiple directions with no clear plot. It was also argued that there were perhaps too many voice-over parts, thus ruining parts of the movie. In my opinion, neither were an issue as I enjoyed the fact that this was a drama exploring more than just one element of a story and the voice-overs added good, clear and concise background as to what was going on at any given time.

The cast did a splendid job on the whole also. The two veterans were played by Garrett Gedlund and Jason Mitchell, who adopted the roles of Jamie McAllan and Ronsel Jackson respectively. Both did well portraying what life must have been like for returning soldiers struggling to recover from the atrocities they’d been faced with previously. Jonathan Banks played the role of Pappy McAllan – the head of the family. He does a tremendous job of creating an extremely hateful character and one that you’re hoping throughout the movie gets his comeuppance. Elsewhere, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Rob Morgan and Mary J. Blige all put in stellar performances, especially the latter who provided a formidable personality that was composed and dignified from the start.

In patches it was heart warming but brutal in others as it delved into many of its sub-plots. Racism is always particularly difficult to watch on our screens, but with strong performances all the way through and really good drama at certain points, it’s a movie worthy of anyone’s time.

It’s worth noting that Mudbound is currently streaming on Netflix.

“Men that died that day… They were husbands, fathers. They were good men. A lot better than me.”

Jamie McAllan – Mudbound

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