Mississippi Grind tells the story of a down on his luck and facing financial hardship poker player, Gerry, who teams up with younger charismatic poker player, Curtis, in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what’s been lost.
The film is essentially a road film and does have its quirky, intriguing moments, but hardly compares to that of films like Sideways, in its funny moments. This, however, doesn’t mean that it isn’t as engaging as two lost souls bond over a common ground of poker. The film remains more of a character study then focusing on the poker, as it is more of a backdrop for the film, as the acting shows through as the main component that drives the film at a set pace that doesn’t seem to be in no hurry towards its ultimate destination.
Mississippi Grind isn’t one of twists or turns or gimmicks that seems to find itself into these types of films. As stated earlier, it’s a realistic study of two characters that find friendship and success, as well as their downfalls, despite their differences.
Gerry, played by Mendelsohn, has fallen so far from grace that he believes he deserves all the bad things that comes his way. But this doesn’t mean that he can stop himself. He’s been sucked into a cycle of addiction. The weight of his past refuses to let him redeem himself. The ending, in its openness, shows that not only for Gerry, but for Curtis also, that they may sometime in the future be able to do something more positive with their lives.
Both Gerry and Curtis need each other and in their separations, you can see them suffering. There friendship is nothing more than that and the only real thing that separates them both is luck. Curtis needs Gerry to confirm that the can turn his personal life around while Gerry needs Curtis’ luck. This holds strong throughout the film.
Slow at times, but no doubt a decent film.