Napoleon Dynamite Reviews
Quirky? Yes. Tongue in cheek? Yes. Hilarious? No.
For being the first feature film of director Jared Hess, Napoleon Dynamite exploded to amazing popularity. The movie has quotable lines that anyone could enjoy, but the unique acting approach taken in Napoleon Dynamite is a big turn-off for many people. Napoleon Dynamite has a simple story line, which allows Hess to exaggerate everyday situations through characters who are so pointedly bland it enlarges the comedy of the movie. The overblown emotions and scenarios around the characters makes the film so enjoyable for a large portion of moviegoers yet ridiculously boring for the rest. For some, watching Napoleon Dynamite in one sitting strains their attention span.
Napoleon lives his life one step away from reality. The personalities of the characters in the movie make for scenarios that wouldn't happen in real life even though they center around everyday activities. Napoleon goes through so many real experiences, like job hunting and asking a girl to a dance, that he's somewhat relatable, but he lives in this slightly off manner that creates an awkwardness in the movie. Some people enjoy how socially inept Napoleon and his friends are, but others find it just too cringe-worthy to bear.
On the plus side, Napoleon Dynamite accurately portrays how socially challenging high school can be. There are so many stereotypes around the cliques in a high school and Napoleon Dynamite does a good job of playing off of those stereotypes especially during Pedro's campaign for class president. It is the circumstances that Napoleon faces in such normal settings, like having his life flipped around by his grandma's accident, that allow him to reach out to the audience. He is a typical nerd attempting to reach out past the archetype of a bullied weird kid.
As a formatted movie Napoleon Dynamite brings in a smaller audience. Viewers today prefer easy access to short online videos that grab their attention. In small doses, individual scenes stand out more and appear more comedic. Similar to how individual clips from Monty Python and the Holy Grail gather millions of views on Youtube compared to the full length movie.
When it comes to appreciating Napoleon Dynamite there currently exists no middle ground. Audiences either love Napoleon Dynamite or they hate it, but using Youtube, Napoleon Dynamite could create a platform to gain many new followers. More will come to love Napoleon and his relatable high school years.
Napoleon Dynamite is the cinematic equivalent of a plate of really good Nachos. As it's opening credit's suggest, the food cooked in Napoleon Dynamite is not a cuisine of highest excellency, it's not a tour de force but it shouldn't be. Like Nachos, it's tortilla chips are pathetic, or can be pathetic at times which is the film's release of fantastic comedic moments. Pathetic is the film's number one aim, which in turn the conflict arises is petty, dumb yet oh so humorous. Your body quickly adapts to it's rolling of the eyes styled backing board of the movie as Napoleon hangs a toy from a string from the school bus window. Why does he do this? I have no idea but it sets the tone ever so well. The cheese topping this fine plate of greasy, oily fried goodness is the fantastical imagination released in it's climax, a battle of the cringes, through dance and music and humble revelations to every character's infinite frustrations. It's what makes this film special and unique. Napoleon Dynamite is a hidden hero amongst minority men, the batman of fat lard city, a poorly drawn fantasy. A Liger in it's central crest...