The Homesman cast is a 2016 Drama Romance movie by Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, and Laura Dern released in September 2016. The American film tells the story of two sisters living on their father’s Nebraska farm in 1884 who are taken under the care of a mysterious drifter (Dano) and his three daughters, who journey west for new homes. Written by Tommy Lee Jones, it shares similarities with works such as “Huckleberry Hound” and “Little House On The Prairie”.
This article examines the movie from an educational standpoint with discussion on motherhood in this period of history as well as analyzing some of the finer points within the plot.
The film starts off with nine year old Mary and her younger sister Polly trying to survive the harsh Nebraska winter. They await the arrival of their father who, along with their mother, left them during their infancy to travel west to pursue a new life in Texas where he hoped to find a gold strike. Their mother died shortly after arriving and was buried in Texas. They now live on their father’s farm but he is often away prospecting for gold or trapping furs for the East Coast merchants who are interested in the remote territory. Their sister Amelia had also died several years ago from tuberculosis, leaving only Polly alive.
The sisters are raised by their father and his second wife, who has recently discovered she is pregnant. The main storyline follows Polly and her attempts to survive in this desolate setting and bring some life back to the farm. While working in the fields she encounters a stranger who asks if he can sleep under their wagon at night. The next day Mary comes across her father and asks why they are traveling west while both of their mothers are buried in Texas. He explains that he has been searching for gold on his own for the past ten years but hasn’t found anything substantial and that, unless there’s an amazing discovery, he knows he will not find anything soon.
1. Survival skills:
The Homesman is based on a prairie environment and the main characters in the movie adapted their lifestyle to suit it. Since they lived on a farm, they learned to do manual work. Mary was able to drive the wagon, while Polly was responsible for looking after the livestock.
They could swim, drive and work long hours without complaining because they were used to it as it was their only method of survival. The most important thing that people learn from this movie is that when a crisis comes we should adapt our lifestyle accordingly and better equip ourselves with necessary skills through which we will be able to cope with any given situation and overcome the challenge posed by it.
2. Value of women:
In the movie, Mary and Polly were driven out of their home when their father left them to explore the West. But instead of grumbling to get back at him, they took it as a challenge and started carrying their responsibilities in the best possible way. They learned how to do farming and cattle rearing without any outside help. In modern society, we also learn other skills apart from our regular studies but nowhere are girls taught these basic survival skills that are essential for a woman. It’s usually up to her parents or other family members to teach her those things.
The sisters in the movie had so much more responsibility than a regular girl in the modern world. But even that did not deter them from carrying out successful farming and other tasks, which proves how strong and courageous their character was. It also made viewers aware of the fact that women are more than capable of doing any job as efficiently as a man can do. Our traditional values have changed to great extents and now we don’t treat our women well as compared to earlier times but this movie shows us how important it is to give our women a place of respect. On a similar note, watching this film will help bring back the value we lost due to changing times.
One of the best parts about this movie is that we see how strong the relationship between sisters is. The mother- daughter relationship in this film was really beautiful. They were very close and interacted freely with each other. Although they had to take care of their farm and raise their own siblings, they still found time for each other’s company when they could. It was because of their strength that they were able to continue with the farm while their father was away. And being a mother, Mary put all her efforts in doing whatever she could for Polly’s betterment so that she could learn useful skills and help her survive on her own.