Based on actual events, Richard Linklater's Bernie tells the story of an assistant funeral director, Bernie, who operates out of the small, rural town of Carthage, TX. An extremely kind individual, Bernie is loved by everyone in the town, even befriending Marjorie, the most hated woman in town who many feel is pure evil. As Bernie's companionship grows with Marjorie, he becomes increasingly backed into a corner, serving as her near slave, until a fateful day when he snaps, murdering her. Shot in a documentary style, which really increases the realistic feel of the film, Richard Linklater's latest effort is a fascinating study of morality and the conventional standards of right and wrong. From the outset it's relatively clear that the film itself is rather biased, taking Bernie's side of the story, but it hardly matters cause of all the elements that make such a strong, fascinating film. It's the story of a man that is just too nice, to the point where he is unable to defend himself, leading to him being pushed over the edge. All that being said, it's a very entertaining experience that perfectly blends drama and comedy, having a few hysterical moments. This is easily the best performance of Jack Black's career and he truly deserves a lot of credit for bringing this rather tragic, yet incredibly optimistic character to life. In a way the film's secondary message is simply about making the best of whatever hand you are dealt, though it's definitely not the primary focus of the film.
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