Last night I enjoyed one of the most thought-provoking, brain-numbing and random movies I've ever seen. I'm not sure how much of the enjoyment was due to the movie itself, or how much of it was based on the show being at 11:00 p.m. during slap-happy hours, but it moved me enough to pen some thoughts on it. At your leisure please see Napoleon Dynamite, PG, 1 hour, 26 minutes.
I went to see this film because a friend was going for his third time. For three nights he drove two hours round trip to watch this movie. The sacrifice of such time and money intrigued me. I had no reason to believe I would enjoy the film, as I don't recall that he and I have ever agreed on a movie. However, curiosity won. We drove, we watched...we agreed. Punch Drunk Love and Clueless were able to sit down together and enjoy the life of Napoleon Dynamite. I can't explain how, but perhaps I can also draw you into our world of cinematic brotherhood.
I couldn't justly comment on the storyline without having to summarize it, but I can't summarize it because...well, I can't. The subplots come together to support the main plot in a well-crafted pyramind of events. If I neglected any of the subplots the main plot would seem off-kilter, but if I explain every subplot then I'm not really summarizing, am I? You'll just have to see the movie.
Anyway, the beauty of this movie is truly in the subtleties. It's the coordination of all of the best of the eighties (stirrup pants, the A-Team, the cameo school picture) with life in the twenty-first century. It's all of the little details that can easily be overlooked. It's the great writing and acting that combine to draw you in so closely that you begin to emote with each character. It's agressive. It's deliberate. It's at least one geeky kid in every school.
What I like best about this movie is that there is nothing sensational about it. It's the first movie I've seen that steers clear of the airbrushed-perfection of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen without swinging to the extreme of the teenage angst of My So-Called Life. The perfect looking kids don't get everything they want, much less without trying, and those desperately in need a mirror and a trip to the mall aren't tormented and ignored to the point of drugs and death. They focus on normal abnormalities.
I find that as I sit and think about this movie my attempts to comment on it become as choppy as the film itself. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, so I don't really even want to say anymore. Please, see the movie. Find out for yourself.