Some movies have dynamic special effects and gigantic budgets which whoa audiences for generations to come. Others are smaller scale films which are meant to inspire more artistic flare and homeliness. Considering it became a cult-hit one can easily guess which category Napoleon Dynamite falls into.
I went into Napoleon not knowing what to expect. Prior to do so I heard it praised and parodied to no end in the popular media yet had never actually seen it until now. Needless to say I was expecting something which in the very least would leave an impression (sour or sweet). As expecting it did not disappoint.
The story of the film is as simple as one can imagine: social misfit Napoleon, gangly teenager and high school reject, befriends Pedro, the new Latino student, and together they become friends who stage a presidential race while finding romance. All very basic, nothing we haven’t seen before.
The strong point of the movie lies in its quaint atmosphere and surreal weirdness. It is a very laid-back movie, which never takes itself too seriously. Characters are introduced in the most amusing fashion and silliness of seldom seen variety overtakes their development. Between Tina the Llama, Napoleon biking his father in town, and his uncle Rico, a scam-man who lives in the past, there is more wacky fodder than is possible to describe here.
This being said there are scenes which unless you are willing to “go with the flow” will make little sense and might bore you. The direction in the movie is not Hollywood style rather it resembles more of an indie film with the pace taking the form of Napoleon and company living through their lives days at a time. Each passing day brings a new piece to the thread that is more down to earth than many recent movies.
Other than the how it is directed there is little to take offense to technical wise. The music is campy and classic; 80s tunes punctuate the homemade melodies with a zen which matches the feel of the experience well. The writing is masterfully enacted by the cast, so much so it does not take long to realize why this became a cult-classic.
So to sum it all up I did not have much negative to say about Napoleon Dynamite. While I was half-expecting to despise its guts, and still find it somewhat repulsive with all the parodies, actually watching it left a neutral taste in my mouth. Likely you will fall into the either hate it or love it categories, if not than you will probably see it then never think about it again. Decent fun filled film the whole family will enjoy; not the greatest but not the worse film either. I think it warrants a go through for its unique story-telling as few movies anymore dare to branch out and try something new. More to this point: If you are looking for such a film than Napoleon just might be your man.