Monday, 9 September 2013

Bernie DVD review


So while on a shopping trip, the Layla found the 2011 Jack Black film Bernie, which slipped under the radar in England. Based on the true story of Bernie Tiede, an assistant director at the local undertakers in the small Texas town of Carthage, he befriends recently widowed millionaire Marjorie Nugent, played excellently by Shirley MacLaine. Things take a turn for the worse when Bernie shoots Marjorie and stores the body in a freezer. Bernie carries on with his life until the body is found and they take Bernie to court to try him for first degree murder, the only problem being every one at Carthage loves Bernie and don't care if he did it or not. Only power mad District Attorney Danny Buck, played by Matthew McConaughey, and the Nugent family, who want their inheritance, want Bernie tried. This film is brilliant because Bernie is such a nice person who just wants to help the community and those who need him. That is until he is taken in as the companion to Marjorie, who is a horrible person who doesn't want to help anybody. So you know what he did was wrong, but for a good cause. He brings happiness to everyone, so to see this poor guy get dragged into court you dislike the people you should like and want the bad guy who murdered someone to get away with it. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and think this is one of Jack Black's best films in a long time, so I'm gonna give the film Bernie 7/10; this is a damn good film, as the story is excellent, acting top notch and the directing very well done. This is one you should give a go. Richee


Some people complain that this film is wrong to try and make a comedy, albeit a very dark comedy, out of the real life murder of an elderly woman. But this film is pure tragedy. The comedy comes from the fact that that woman's murder seemed almost inevitable (there's only so far you can push someone), that she taught him to use the "armadillo gun" that he killed her with, and the futility of trying to get someone to go free of murder when they admit it in the first instance to the police. This film is a classic portrayal of the American South's forgiveness of justifiable crimes (read The Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker for more on honour killings and the like). Bernie didn't want to kill Marjorie, but she was just so mean, so jealous of his time, and anyway, nobody liked her.

Bernie is masterful in its portrayal of Bernie and Marjorie; Richee literally got angry at the District Attorney during the court trial. The use of talking heads, some of whom are actual members of Carthage, provide the kind of small town gossip that at once propels the story but also contains the pressure that Bernie was under in order to conceal his crime. The best thing though is Jack Black as Bernie Tiede. A perfect example of genius casting, and if your into Jack Black singing country Christian songs, your in for a treat.

This is a great film that will seriously make you ponder why certain crimes happen. This is a well deserved 7/10. Layla.

If you watch it, let us know what you think in the comments below.

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