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Mise-en-Scene in Napoleon Dynamite Essay

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Mise-en-Scene in Napoleon Dynamite

In Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess, 2004), the character known as Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is quite a unique fellow. His quirkiness and eccentricity are what make him as a character; they are the primary traits of his personality. Keep in mind, however, that he is not the only odd character in the film, but he has his own peerless way of defining himself separate from any other character(s). This effect is achieved through certain cinematic techniques that director Jared Hess utilizes in order to bring out Napoleon’s persona in ways other than simply “guessing” who he really is. Rather, these techniques “explicitly imply” certain character traits; they are like clues that allow one to see the…show more content…

Additionally, considerable portion of the significant sound in the film occurs in the music. The most blatant effect of the music is the cheesy MIDI arrangements. These outdated compositions portray the tackiness of Napoleon; he and the music are clearly out of style. One of the crudest examples of this is when Napoleon buys his suit; the muzak in the background is as unbearably corny as Napoleon’s taste in clothing. Albeit music is a fundamental factor in Napoleon Dynamite, it is not the only element of sound that is relevant.

The sound effects in the film also give clues as to what kind of person Napoleon really is. One supporting example is when he is eating “tots” in the middle of class. The unnecessarily loud crunching noise portrays his manifest lack of craftiness and style. There was one audio technique, however, that was extremely puzzling. In every scene inside a house, there is a very subtle background of birds chirping. This emphasizes the fact that Napoleon lives a rural community, rather than a busy suburb or city setting. This sound is extremely understated, however, and is obviously intended to be a subconscious feature to the viewer.

Napoleon uses some of his own characteristic sounds in the film to facilitate who he is. As a matter of fact, the first sound he makes in the movie is long, depressed sigh when he sees the school bus approaching. This

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