‘Carthage’ is a small town in Texas that is explained with a lot of emphasis in the film, as this unbelievable true story, based on the article in Texas Monthly, took place there.
Bernie Tiede is too good to be true. A man loved by the entire town for his deeds. ‘Funeral Director’ as he likes to be addressed, he takes his position very seriously. He’d sing at the choir, release a white dove (to symbolise the passage of the deceased to their next life) for an additional 150 bucks, and he is what they call a ‘buy-holic’. But he doesn’t buy or shop for himself, he buys for others. To comfort and validate the needy. He’d visit the deceased old widows to let them know they’re not alone and he’d genuinely care.
Well, a lot of questions came into my mind, while watching this over-friendly, extremely polite gentleman. These questions appeared in the form of texts on the screen.
With a docu-drama treatment, Linklater has convincingly captured my attention, and made me sure that he’s not only the master of strong conversations but also a great story teller. Bernie isn’t preachy, it isn’t boring, it is infact funny! And engaging.
Jack Black who plays Bernie has done a splendid job.
I won’t reveal the story, but to come to think of it, it’s amazing how a moment can change our lives. And how important it is to be perceived and accepted in the society in a certain way. Man is indeed a social animal and he’ll die one too. But it also doesn’t matter, you know. It is important and it isn’t.
I absolutely had no idea that Matthew McConaughey is in the film, and boy, isn’t he the best cowboy ever. I didn’t know he played such a character before ‘Dallas Buyer’s Club’. This could’ve been a sneak peek into his amazing acting skills and that accent he pulls off. That guy!
Bernie is one of those less spoken of Linklater films, but it surely is a good one. Fan of true stories? Watch it. It won’t require you to think, overthink, analyse, but you will. Linklater does that to one.
I’ve already watched –
Dazed and Confused
and a couple of others, which I’ll rewatch coz I don’t remember them much. I have a few films from his filmography and I’m discovering him and getting to know him more.
(Paraphrasing) “We’re blessed to be breathing in a world where Richard Linklater is still alive.” – Satyanshu Singh