The Life Unwired with Ben Combee (unwiredben) wrote,
The Life Unwired with Ben Combee

Napoleon Dynamite

Every now and then, there's a mostly plotless, character-driven film that excites a lot of people. "Napoleon Dynamite" is one of those movies. It's a geek film, but the characters aren't suave, ambitious, intelligent, handsome geeks like the writer of this weblog, they are just ordinary people in a rural Idaho town that do odd things.

The main character is Napoleon, a high schooler who draws animals, competes in Future Farmers of America contests, gets beaten up by bullies, and never seems to treat anyone with kindness. He lives with his llama-owning grandmother and his brother Kip, an chat-room addict. He falls in with Pedro, an immigrant from Juarez, Mexico, and Deb, a smart but awkward girl who is trying to earn money for college by selling plastic arts-and-crafts keychains. Another uncle of Napoleon's, a camper-van-driving salesman who is stuck in 1982, comes to live with them for a while. The film's plot mainly involves a dance, a student-body election, an arrival from out-of-town, and a get-rich scheme, but it's not really that important. It just provides the connections that move us from character to character.

The whole film is filled with a low-key, uncomfortable humor. It doesn't feel right to laugh at these people, but you do it anyway, and you keep doing it throughout the film. Some people do change in the film in slight but positive ways. The ending is nice and understated. I don't give the film my highest rating, but it's a solid 4 out of 5.
Tags: movies
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