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Mississippi Grind DVD Review

mississipiirgrindDirector: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Written By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mandelsohn, Sienna Miller, Analeigh Tipton, Alfre Woodard

Extras: Ben Mendelsohn: The Gambler, The Groove Behind Mississippi Grind, Making Of, Ryan Reynolds: The Drifter, The Cast, Interviews With Ben Mendelsohn / Ryan Reynolds

Before the days of Deadpool’ing, Ryan Reynolds was actually a steady film actor, who woulda thought? In this DVD offering, Mississippi Grind follows the story of Gerry (Ben Mandelsohn), who seems to be down on his luck financially and physically, until he meets the ever-charismatic Curtis (Reynolds) who shows him that there can be light at the end of the tunnel. But when Curtis invites Gerry on a gambling road trip through the South, the pair’s journey of discovery becomes more of a what they want from what they’ve lost along the way.

Mississippi Grind oozes in homage, reminiscent of 70s buddy pictures where two unlikely characters go on a journey of discovery. It is a tried and tested product. Set in American’s scenic South, we see Gerry and Curtis unite over their love of gambling but try to escape from the big cloud’s that are currently overshadowing their lives. Film duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are at an advantage being directors and screenwriters here, from the get go you are taken into this world that Gerry and Curtis are conjuring up for themselves, but is it well executed? Well you would need to be the decider of that, because it is very in the middle.

Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mandelsohn oddly work, despite the fact they seem to be mismatched in their casting at times, and from the get go we don’t really see Gerry as someone who could be down on his luck, when the charismatic Curtis comes in we cannot see him as someone who would eat up all of his words. But as the story goes on we witness Curtis falling into his trap and that’s when it starts to kick off after the slow build.

A big concern with Mississippi Grind is the use of the supporting characters. They play a pivotal role in the story, as they’re the sole motivator for both characters as they go on their gambling spree. Simone (Sienna Miller) is Curtis’s motivation but it never comes to conclusion that you hope it would. Gerry’s motivation comes to a fiery build up when he goes back to see his ex-wife but, yet again, never comes to the conclusion that you think it would. Obviously throughout the film we only get subtext but when the film is coming to its conclusion, is it wrong to expect a decent ending?

Mississippi Grind will be perfect for some, full of building tension and laced with subtext to keep you gripped throughout but, for some, this might be where they lose concentration thinking it lacks in any arc at all. Whatever team you’re on, there’s no denying the film is well made and has great performances from Reynolds and Mandelsohn and, in truth, should be watched on that basis alone.

Mississippi Grind is available on DVD on 7 March.


TV and Theatre Nerd who will always try and give you a good opinion, unless it is something to do with Bloc Party, then it will be completely biased. Favourite films include: HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH, ALMOST FAMOUS AND MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO.

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