Nebraska-Film Review

Taking a U.S. state that is known for nothing in particular, and turn it into a minor classic-that is what the director has achieved. I liked it first for what it does not have- supermen, weird animated characters, horror, well-sculpted and manicured people of 'Hollywood-defined Americana'. In other words, all the stereotypes and weirdness, unnatural or supernatural.

The characters are so real, and believable, I can't remember the last time I saw similar ones in a Hollywood movie. There is not one slim female in the film. Not many young ones either-male or female. But the film is absolutely engrossing, and visually enthralling. Just the landscapes of Montana and South Dakota, and the small town of Nebraska, are worth a watch. The farms and the barns, the old houses, and so on are a treat. The gray photography adds to the charm. The acting is world-class- I am not kidding. The actors are mostly unknowns (to me), and Bruce Dern, who plays the old dad around whom the story revolves, is the only one I recognised from old times.

His wife is played by a rumbunctious lady, who remembers all her affairs, real or not, in the funniest situations. There is also a graceful ex-girlfriend of the old man, and an ex-partner who has stolen a compressor from him under false pretences. The humour is under-stated, and evolves from the situation- the old man thinks he has won a million dollars, after he gets a junk mailed letter saying so from a publisher.

The movie works at different levels, with a discussion on what one can do (mostly cannot do) with the American dream- a million dollars. Worth a million bucks. Do watch it.


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