The Beach Bum is his latest work in which the protagonist is Mundog (Matthew McConaughey), a rebellious poet who lives life by his own rules. At one point he was successful and influential, became famous for his poetry and married the rich woman Minnie (Isla Fisher), but for a long time he has not written anything and spends time on beaches and yachts, often with other women. Minnie and his agent Louis (Jonah Hill) insist that he finish the book he started long ago…
Mundog is a fictional character, but he seems completely real and there are suggestions that he’s based on a real person, which wouldn’t surprise me at all. He could very well be someone sitting in a tavern on the beach right now, reciting his verses and flirting with whoever he happens to be. On the other hand, Mundog is beyond the everyday concerns of ordinary people, he is strange and contradictory, so it is logical that he is a product of fiction.
In any case, the protagonist is a pleasant rarity and a character who deserves his own movie. Korin’s screenplay has a story without a classic plot, although a lot happens around the main character who is rarely touched, so The Beach Bum is the kind of movie that needs someone like Mundog. Our protagonist likes to spend time with Longjare (Snoop Dogg), who loves adventure and who, more importantly, always has good quality marijuana from Jamaica. Also, Mundog shows his emotional reaction in only one scene, and maybe even then it was just an expression of confusion.
In the absence of a plot, we are left to follow Mundog through a series of adventures, which include his daughter’s wedding, escaping from a rehab center with Flicker (Zac Efron), and hanging out with dolphin-dealing Captain Vek (Martin Lawrence). It is these adventures that help us understand and define Mundog himself. At one point, he is left with nothing and hanging out with the homeless, as well as marijuana, give him the inspiration to finish his book.
McConaughey stepped into the role very naturally and it’s clear that he had a great time while filming. He succeeds in making us admire him, but also reproach him for his behavior. His character is a sensualist, a stoner, a man who lives in the moment, who has no self-censorship and who simply does what makes him feel good. His philosophy is that every event, good or bad, is just a note in the song that represents his life. Great locations dominated by the sea and blue sky were added to such a character, so everything is light and slowed down, just like our main hero.
The Beach Bum is the story of a character that is too unique to enter any kind of narrative, with the distinctive style of Harmony Korine and the charismatic Matthew McConaughey, which for some will be enough compensation for the inconsistency and absence of real focus and classic plot.