Nimona (2023)

Film and Plot Synopsis

When Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed), a knight in a futuristic medieval world, is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, the only one who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz), a mischievous teen with a taste for mayhem – who also happens to be a shapeshifting creature Ballister has been trained to destroy. But with the entire kingdom out to get him, Nimona’s the best (or technically the only) sidekick Ballister can hope for. And as the lines between heroes, villains, and monsters start to blur, the two of them set out to wreak serious havoc – for Ballister to clear his name once and for all, and for Nimona to…just wreak serious havoc. (Courtesy of Netflix)

‘Nimona’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Nimona (2023)The film takes place in a futuristic, medieval kingdom. The citizens of the kingdom are protected by the Institute for Elite Knights, an organization established by the legendary heroine Gloreth (Karen Ryan) who slew a Great Black Monster when she was younger. In the years that followed, Gloreth helped to protect the kingdom further by enclosing it in a high wall for a thousand years before the beginning of the film.

In the present day, Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed) is the first commoner to become a knight. Ballister’s knighthood has been supported by the current ruler, Queen Valerin (Lorraine Toussaint), who is trying to change the kingdom’s ancient traditions so that everyone can become a knight. During his knighting ceremony, a laser shot from Ballister’s sword penetrates Valerin’s chest, killing her. Ballister’s boyfriend and fellow knight, Ambrosius Goldenloin (Eugene Lee Yang), is forced to disarm a bewildered Ballister. During the brief struggle, Ballister’s right arm is cut off. Ballister escapes, but he becomes a fugitive in the city that he has sworn to protect.

While in hiding, Ballister creates a prosthetic replacement arm. He is also visited by a shapeshifter named Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz), who is also hunted by the knights due to her amazing abilities. Believing him to be a villain like her, Nimona declares herself to be Ballister’s sidekick. Ballister sets out to clear his name.

Ballister’s first act is to kidnap a young boy named Diego (Julio Torres), the squire who gave Ballister his sword prior to the ceremony. Diego gives Ballister video evidence of the Director of the Institute (Frances Conroy) swapping out Ballister’s sword, revealing her to be the one behind the murder of the Queen. Ballister and Nimona confront Ambrosius and the Director with the evidence, but the Director manipulates the knights into destroying it before it can be examined. Ballister and Nimona are forced to escape using Nimona’s amazing shape-shifting abilities. Ballister’s association with a “monster” like Nimona further convinces many that he is guilty of his crimes.

Not long after, Ambrosius confronts the Director about Ballister’s allegations. The Director admits that she framed Ballister and murdered the Queen, believing that the monarch’s progressive policy of allowing commoners to become knights was endangering the kingdom. However, Ballister reveals that he has recorded the Director’s confession as the Ambrosius that met with the Director was Nimona in disguise. Ballister celebrates the video in his hideout and posts it online, leading to public outcry over the situation.

However, the Director learns that Nimona is the Great Black Monster that was legendarily defeated by Gloreth. She manipulates this fact to convince the citizens of the kingdom that Ballister used Nimona’s shape-shifting abilities to fake her confession. The real Ambrosius meets with Ballister and reveals the truth about Nimona’s past. Ambrosius tries to convince Ballister that Nimona is deceiving him. Ballister confronts Nimona with the truth and questions their friendship. Feeling abandoned, Nimona flees into the woods alone.

Kids. Little kids. They grow up believing that they can be a hero if they drive a sword into the heart of anything different. And I’m the monster? I don’t know what’s scarier. The fact that everyone in this kingdom wants to run a sword through my heart… or that sometimes, I just wanna let ’em. Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz)

Nimona then remembers her past. One thousand years ago, Nimona wandered the world and transformed into other animals to try to fit in. However, she never found true acceptance amongst the wildlife. However, after encountering Gloreth as a child, Nimona transformed herself into a human child. Gloreth and Nimona became friends, as Gloreth was initially accepting of Nimona’s powers. However, when the other citizens of Gloreth’s village discovered Nimona’s powers, they condemned her as a monster. The village, including Gloreth and her parents, attacked Nimona with torches, which accidentally set the village on fire.

In the present day, a distraught Nimona transforms into the Great Black Monster again after Ballister’s abandonment. Nimona enters the city with the intent to commit suicide by impaling herself on the sword of Gloreth’s statue. However, Ballister catches up to her and stops Nimona from killing herself. Ballister apologizes for his accusations, and Nimona transforms back to human form and embraces her friend. The citizens of the kingdom see Nimona’s humanity and are moved by it. However, the Director, hell bent on revenge and self-preservation, orders a laser cannon to be fired from the wall to kill Nimona. Ambrosius protests the order, knowing that many of the citizens would be killed as well.

The Director then turns on her own knights as well and prepares to fire the cannon herself. To save the kingdom, Nimona assumes a giant, red phoenix-like form and flies into the cannon. The resulting explosion destroys part of the wall and appears to kill both the Director and Nimona. The wall’s destruction reveals a beautiful, mountainous valley behind it, something that many of the citizens were unaware of.

Sometime later, the gap in the wall remains unrepaired and has become a passageway through which many citizens travel freely. Ballister and Nimona are honored as heroes, and Ballister resumes his relationship with Ambrosius. One day, Ballister visits his old hideout that he had with Nimona. He hears Nimona’s voice and realizes that she survived the explosion.

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Our Rating

Netflix released Nimona on June 30, 2023. Nick Bruno and Troy Quane directed the film starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, and Eugene Lee Yang.

User Rating: 3.03 ( 3 votes)
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