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Napoleon Dynamite Essay

Essay by   •  March 5, 2012  •  Essay  •  633 Words (3 Pages)  •  3,382 Views

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Napoleon Dynamite is a movie that really has no definite plot climax or resolution. The movie takes place in Idaho where it centralizes around a very interesting alienated teen named Napoleon Dynamite and his experiences living at home with his grandma and his 32 year old brother who "chats online with babes all day" while trying to survive high school with his only two friends, Deb and Pedro who he later goes on to help win class presidency.

How are we supposed to feel about the protagonist as we spend most of the movie laughing at his expense? Napoleon starts off as a monotonous geek who is so geeky that he actually thinks it's cool and even accentuates this fact by doing things like making up stories about hunting Wolverine. The first time we see Napoleon on the screen, he is off-centre and slouching, showing us that his character is awkward and bored. A low angle shot is used when he was waiting for the bus by himself, but the moment the bus comes and Napoleon is not alone anymore we see him through a high angle shot. This shows that he feels superior and confident... when he is alone. In the classroom, we see him drawing in his folder instead of working, further emphasising his boredom, and as he stands up his bright blue T-shirt is extremely noticeable, and like Napoleon himself, it stands out.

Pedro, the new Mexican student at school speaks and acts in monotone just like Napoleon, which could be why they become best friends. Pedros accent makes him hard to understand and instantly isolates him going hand in hand with the characters lack a personality as well as emotions. In the scene where Napoleons jump off the ramp goes lopsided Pedro remains completely indifferent. Pedro's new friend just got a severe blast to the "family jewels", thanks to Pedro's own bike and ramp, yet he has no discernible reaction whatsoever. He doesn't laugh at Napoleon, he doesn't rush up to help him, he doesn't utter a word. Pedro DOESN'T EVEN MOVE. Shot composition shows already short Pedro dwarfed and vulnerable, even powerless although he becomes class president. The distance of the camera in most shots are of medium range; except for when Pedro's cousins are present. Every time the cousins are present and Napoleon is not interacting with them they are shown in a very distant shot suggesting that their only purpose in the movie is to help the protagonist.

Throughout the film hints are dropped that Deb, the weird daggy girl, has a crush on Napoleon. Deb likes to wear her hair in a side ponytail and goes around selling glamour shots and other items to earn money for college. For one, the costumes, music, hair, and dancing in this movie are all pure 80' and the "far-out" look and feel of the 80's is simply something else to laugh at. We normally see Deb looking down shyly and hesitant much unlike Summer who is your typically athletic,



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