Barra de menús

viernes, 9 de diciembre de 2011

Film reviews: Napoleon Dynamite

"What are you going to do today, Napoleon?"
 "Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!"
(Ties a string to his action figure and chucks it out the window)

None of the films that I talked about are for all tastes. Napoleon Dynamite isn't an exception. In fact, it's the rule: coined the term "The Napoleon Dynamite Problem", a phenomenon involving "quirky films" that cause "strong and immediate love or hate reaction to those films, with very little in-between.". Examples are Lost in Translation or Napoleon Dynamite itself, but others can perfectly be the two films that I have already talked about: Hard Candy and Pulp Fiction.

We are dealing here with another indie, weird film set in a highschool. You can think that Napoleon is the cliched American film about highschool because of elements like the omnipresent prom, but it's more than that. It fits better in the genre of the highschool freaks. Although it works with the same concepts that Ghost World or Freaks and Geeks and they have some clear similarities, Napoleon is different and even more eccentric. I personally like the film and if I have to criticize something, that would be the ending, maybe too simple.

Crew and cast
Napoleon was the first full-length film codirected and cowritten by Jared and Jerusha Hess. Jared had already made the short film Peluca in which Napoleon is partially based. Likewise, the character of Napoleon appears in Peluca and it's performed by the same actor, Jon Heder, who made his acting debut with the feature film.
Other outstanding performance is made by Tina Majorino as Deb. Tina was the girl from Waterworld and her appearance in Napoleon was her first one after a five-year break in acting.
I have to remark the contribution of the White Stripes with their song "We're Going to Be Friends". Hess states that they didn't have a song for the opening scene and they sent a copy of the film to the reowned rock band and they approved to have the song used in it.

Plot and characters
Each character has his own personality and it's true, most of them are freaks. Napoleon Dynamite (that's his actual name) is an eccentric high school student who lives with his grandmother, his older brother Kip and their pet llama, Tina. Napoleon claims to be a ninja, likes drawing with a particular style and also likes dancing disco music. His grandmother likes practicing motocross; his brother Kip wants to be cage fighter and likes chatting with girls; and Tina is a llama that eats ham. An ordinary family, you know.
Napoleon makes two new friends at school, Deb and Pedro. Deb is a very shy and sensitive girl. Pedro is a transfer student from Juárez, Mexico, who decides to become the class President against the candidature of the popular girl Summer.

Cult following
This sometimes surrealistic film became a cult film soon after his release. It has very good reviews and very bad ones, like "The Napoleon Dynamite Problem" foretells. The fact is that the film has a fangroup and there is a homonymous TV series that continues with the story of these singular chracters. It's dubbed by the same actors in the movie and it will be aired in 2012. The Hess are only producers and that is a frightening thing, but we can talk until we watch the results. I'll be waiting for it.

And now, let's watch possibly the most amazing scene of Napoleon Dynamite: Napoleon as a dance master. Take a good look at his sexy steps, boys, if you want to make out with girls. No, seriously, he has style.

"Sorry I'm late. I just got done taming a wild honeymoon stallion for you guys."

2 comentarios:

  1. Tina Majorino is a lady, so you need to use "her" both times. Don't worry, this happens to every native Spanish speaker. And, for some reason that I ignore, the Chinese.

    Yes, it's a very weird film. I watched it because of your recommendation and was half bored to death until the dance scene, then I began to like it. Sadly, it was almost over by then.

  2. Yeah, it's true that maybe the film is too variable capturing the attention of the audience. I like the film, though.

    Thanks again for the corrections :)