Mississippi Grind  : You win some, You lose some.
“A hero is nothing more than the guy who pulls off what the rest of us are scared to do.”
Directed by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, Mississippi Grind stars Ben Mendelsohn & Ryan Reynolds is lead roles. This review is a part of the short reviews that we’ve planned to post for the new indie films that need to be seen.
Review by Nafees
Mississippi Grind can better be described as a character study of two people who have nothing in common except for their passion for ‘gambling’. Even if you are not a sucker for gambling based films, “Mississippi Grind” is immensely likable and irresistible, with a few good take away moments imbibed in it.
Miserable looking Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) bumps into Woodford loving Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) on one of the Poker tables on one of those random nights. Soon you start suspecting that their might be some con game on the cards here. Just when you settle down; both the characters, who believe that the other person is a lucky charm bond together over common talks and booze. They then embark on a road trip meeting old friends & family member, and gamble at all the halts.
The film never really focuses on the tricks or the results of gambling, rather the end result of each gamble brings a new twist and it helps in fleshing out the character in quite a revealing manner. Incoherent friendship between its two lead characters is as fickle as the roll of the dice, their problems are graver than what it seems on the surface level. They eventually make each other realize about their irreparable damages that helps their bond grow beyond winning the gamble.
While Ryan Reynolds performed true to his character without adding much value to it, it is Ben Mendelsohn’s performance that brings perfect vulnerability and sincerity to his character, which uplifts this partly road trip bromance film to one notch up. This Low Budget Indie film, Directed by Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden, quite convincingly explore the dynamics of two vulnerable characters and quite smartly fuses the gambling to evoke the necessary thrill.
Review by Shikhar
Mississippi Grind is basically a character study about two people. Two people addicted to gambling in their own sort of way. While, Gerry hasn’t had much luck with his calls, Curtis can’t lose his bets.
The film is not what it might seem on the surface. Its a road-trip/black comedy about the various places that addiction takes you to, its also a film that moves along the maps of America. And as it transcends down the maps, things don’t light up for the duo. Shady things happen and that’s where the characters get a smarter character arc. Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden who previously directed ‘Half Nelson‘, another film about addiction, get their cards right yet again.
While Ryan Reynolds plays the charming good luck charm, you do know that his character is deeper than that. And what a treat it is to watch Ben Mendelsohn. With every film the dude ups himself up. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets an Oscar before Leonardo DiCaprio does.