The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

REVIEW: ‘Nimona,’ a sci-fi fantasy story about acceptance

Featuring people of color, LGBTQ representation
Ballister Boldheart and Nimona from the film “Nimona.”

The first thing that stood out to me about “Nimona” was the interesting crossroads that the characters’ society stood at. The juxtaposition between the futuristic staple of flying cars meshed with knights and an emphasis on the medieval made for an interesting plot line.

I think the combination of genres in “Nimona” is important — seeing flying cars traverse a city that is clearly stuck in the past in a cultural sense alongside knighting ceremonies and dungeons full of hay. There is a clear message about weighing the importance of the past and tradition versus the advancement of society.

This movie is based on a graphic novel of the same name. After reading a synopsis of the graphic novel, I am slightly surprised by how much the plot of the movie is different from the synopsis that I read.

“Nimona” starts with the knighting ceremony of Ballister Boldheart, a commoner who caught the eye of the queen when he was a child, impressing her with his abilities. As the queen is knighting Boldheart, the bottom of his sword turns into a laser beam of sorts, killing the queen.

With no one in the kingdom on his side, including his fellow knight-in-training and boyfriend Ambrosius Goldenloin, Boldheart is forced into hiding. Then he meets Nimona, a shapeshifter who anoints herself Boldheart’s sidekick. To Boldheart’s dismay, Nimona thinks he is a villain, and she herself seems to be one.

One of the biggest themes of the movie is the importance of acceptance and the idea that tradition does not always have to be followed. A main plot point was that in this society, there was a big fight 1,000 years ago where a hero named Gloreth saved the day from a monster.

A lot of what the society preaches falls back to Gloreth; her statue is seemingly everywhere, and becoming honorable like her is highly valued. This is where the character Nimona plays a large role; she does not value society’s need for tradition. Nimona just wants to do her own thing without being looked down upon.

From what I can tell, in this society, the idea of anything not fitting the status quo seems to be frowned upon. As a character, Nimona just wants to be herself — a shapeshifting “monster” — instead of what society is implying she should be.

Nimona and Boldheart confront the Director, who framed Boldheart, and Goldenloin, but are surrounded by knights. Boldheart finally accepts Nimona, letting her run wild with her shapeshifting — something he had been skeptical of until that point.

Nimona, a usually upbeat optimist, becomes sad and dejected after a young child points a sword at her, calling her a monster. This is a really emotional scene of the movie; seeing Nimona doubt herself was a really touching moment.

Later, after the Director gives a soliloquy about how the ominous wall that surrounds the kingdom protects it, she impales Ambrosius and admits to framing Ballister because of his background as a commoner. It is revealed that Nimona, who happens to be nearly unkillable, had shapeshifted into Ambrosius and that Boldheart was recording the Director’s admission. The two escape with the video.

It is around this point where Boldheart starts to accept Nimona for who she is, which is one of the highlights of the movie. The two have a dance party, Boldheart strums a broom like an electric guitar and Nimona turns into a shark, while the entire kingdom sees the video the two recorded of the Director.

It is really touching seeing Boldheart and Nimona get along; it adds to the story of acceptance that is seen so prevalently throughout the movie. From that point on, “Nimona” as a movie totally changed course.

I will let you experience the rest of the plot, but this movie takes an emotional turn that I was not ready for. I think “Nimona” is definitely worth a watch; it ended up being a lot more intense and touching than I was expecting. We can all learn something from this movie in terms of acceptance, love and kindness.

One of the points of emphasis in the movie is the dynamic between Boldheart and Nimona. At the beginning of the movie, Boldheart was hesitant to accept Nimona and tried to push her away, but by the end, the two became close.

I think that is a really powerful message that could be listened to and appreciated by more people in today’s world. Everyone is so quick to put others down instead of building them up; we could all learn a lesson by watching “Nimona.”

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About the Contributors
Joey Franklin is a junior majoring in communications from Fairwood, Washington.
KYRIE ROLLINS, Evergreen illustrator
Kyrie Rollins is a graphic illustrator for the Daily Evergreen. They are in their third year at Washington State University double majoring in Digital Technology & Culture and Fine Arts. They’re born and raised in Pullman and are ready to represent this town!