Thu, Jul 15, 2004

: Napoleon Dynamite

Strangely appealing character study of a bunch of really weird people. Napoleon’s a high school student who’s seemingly a typical nerd, except he doesn’t seem to realize it. He has an active imagination and just goes right ahead doing whatever he wants, not letting the opinion of others influence him. One of the key things I liked about this movie is that Napoleon does not change. In most of these kind of movies, the nerd changes to become “cool,” but in this one his coolness comes from his being different. And he’s not the only weird guy: his best friend is Pedro, a Mexican who doesn’t talk much, but ends up running for class president. Napoleon’s brother is a 32-year-old still living at home and spending all his time chatting with women on the Internet. When Napoleon’s grandmother injures herself on her ATV, Uncle Rico moves in to watch the kids, and he’s very strange, a loser who keeps reliving his 1982 high school championship American football game. He wants to go back so bad he even buys a time machine on the Internet! There’s so much neat stuff in this film, you just have to see it. It’s slightly predictable, but the plot’s not really essential, so that doesn’t matter much. What’s cool is the low-key humor and bizarre characters and weird situations, and the characters that don’t seem to realize anything is weird or abnormal! Very entertaining.

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