Film Review: Nebraska, an engaging yet simple tale of relationships & life

Friday, 28 February 2014 - 8:29am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Cast: Bob Odenkirk, Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Stacy Keach, Will Forte
Director: Alexander Payne
Rating: ****

What's it about 

One of the most beautifully shot and executed films of the year, Nebraska is a poignant story of a father-son relationship and everything that has led them to this very moment in their lives.

The Academy Award nominee for best actor, Bruce Dern, believes a million dollar prize is waiting for him at Lincoln, Nebraska. However, to fetch it he has to drive down with his son (Will Forte) who wants to keep his loud mouthed, moody father out of trouble. 

The film is much more than a story of a dysfunctional family where the son wants to mend ways with his dad. As it progresses, Nebraska, which is shot in black and white, engages us with its simple plot yet complex take on human relationships and life. 

What's hot 

Bruce Dern and June Squibb are the brightest stars in this constellation of an eclectic cast. 

The two are so at ease with their characters where the latter plays Bruce's wife with such passion. Her constant rebuttal of her husband's unpleasant personality or disbelief towards the actual truths of life are well documented. 

Along the way Payne starts introducing us to people from Dern's past who knew him as a different person. His son suddenly starts seeing his grumpy old father in a different light, and at time he finds it too hard to believe that the person they are referring to is someone of his own blood. 

It is a story about coming to a point where you accept a person for what he is and let him shine his own light in the least expected way. 

What's not 

Nebraska is predictable, so if you want something that will give you a rush then this isn't the right ticket for you. 

The mood and tone of the film is quite sober with a very few chuckles and laughs coming your way. Also Dern has these moments where all he does is stare and grunt or draw long pauses. 

We wish Payne had put in more effort into his supporting cast as much as he did with Squibb and Dern. 

What to do 

If human emotions and how they play out in different situations intrigue you then Nebraska will definitely touch your heart with its simple yet beautiful storyline. 

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