By Alexandria Armstrong
Emmy award winning director Dee Rees makes her Netflix debut with Mudbound, written by both Rees and Virgil Williams based on the 2008 novel of the same name.
Rees takes you back in time to a post war Mississippi where we follow two World War 2 soldiers( one black the other white) after they return home after the war ends. Mudbound stars award winning actress Carey mulligan, Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Rob Morgan, Jonathan Banks and grammy award winner Mary J. Blige.
The movie starts with the two brothers Jamie( Hedlund) and Henry (Clarke) McAllan digging a grave, the film offers great foreshadowing, this being just one example. The film continues on giving us backstory on each character, painting a vivid picture of each person’s personality.
The plot that follows gives an insight into the how the veterans dealt with coming home and the differences each of them faced in regards to their race and adjusting with life back home. The plot slowly unfolds as the movie goes on hinting at certain topics here and there offering a bit of light humor and romance to lighten certain scenes.
The cinematography, done by Rachel Morrison who has also done films like fruitvale Station and cake, does a beautiful job. Morrison uses beautiful landscape shots and imagery to help portray the feel and time period of the rural mississippi area. The images and landscapes give the viewers an inside look into the southern atmosphere.
During the middle of the film Ronsel Jackson played by jason mitchell has just come back from the war and he notices nothing in regards to race relations in america has changed. The issue becomes more apparent when Henry’s father “Pappy”, his friend, and Henry refuse to let Ronsel leave through the front door, insisting he uses the back. This scene shows the growing racial tension and sparks the opposition of the segregated beliefs of the town.
Another scene of significance takes place when Jamie(Hedlund) and Ronsel(mitchell) are both in town. Jamie hears a car backfire and immediately drops to the ground (triggered by the sound) as everyone in the town stares at him Ronsel rushes over to help Jamie get and gathers his thing and hands jamie back his hat, where we see Ronsel has a tremor (a result from the war), the two quickly bond.
Each actor does wonderfully in their respective roles and as a whole cast. Bringing life to each character.
Carey Mulligan does a great job as a 31 year old virgin turned housewife and mother Laura McAllan. Her role is similar to that of her previous role in The Great Gatsby as Daisy Buchanan.
Jason Mitchell beautifully delivers Ronsel Jackson’s journey and hardships. His performance shows what it was like for a black soldier to go away to war and fight and come back to the same racially tense America.
Garrett Hedlund also delivers a standout performance as Jamie Mcallen. His interactions with each character brings a special vibe to each scene he’s in.
The end of the film brings life changing turns of events for the characters, huge character development and progression. The film, especially the ending was compelling and will definitely leave you emotional and in tears, grasping for your nearest loved one.
Mudbound has been nominated and has won multiple awards and is a great movie everyone should see.