“Never Been Thawed” is an amusing movie that is full of humor. But this does not manifest that movie is a simple attempt to create humor and fun. There is an element of deep satire pervasive in the movie.
Although some critics are of the view that this “is a movie filled with cultural gags that mock without achieving the level of good satire.” (Neva Chonin, 2005) But in my point of view, it is a beautiful blend of comedy with socio-cultural issue. Although mokumentary is regarded as low genre of film-making but the novel substance of this movie makes its worth watching. The feeling of amusement surrounded me after watching the movie as it has a lot of fun to captivate the viewers and entertain his/her nerves. But the movie is not only amusing as its thematic expression of the movie moves from meta-humour to deep socio-cultural satire. Another important characteristic of the movie is that it does not present the socio-cultural facts in plain terms but creates witty and humorous dramatic conflicts to move the plot as well to captivate the viewers.
This is a “very low budget with its high-energy cast and concept”. Despite low financial budget, the director has used various MISE-EN-SCENES i.e. setting and sets, acting style etc. treat fairly with the topic. The film’s title, “NBT: Never Been Thawed,” has symbolic meaning that runs parallel to pot of the movie. It denotes a frozen-food dish in primo condition and it also serves as a metaphor for the human condition of its characters. The depiction and performances the members of “The Frozen Entree Enthusiasts” especially Shawn Anderson, the absurdly self-important and utterly deluded “president” of the Mesa Frozen Entree Enthusiasts’ Club us perfectly played by Anders. Furthermore setting and activities at No Choice Café, are all according to the requirements of the topic and plot.
This movie presents the true nature of some aspects of American social life and culture that how people fabricate their mock activities. It further narrates the snobbery and presentations of the American culture. Eric Monder has beautifully summed the central social or cultural issue that this movie addresses. He says;
“ [It] makes fun of real-life collector cults by crafting their own absurd cult featuring a variety of strange characters-Shawn, a manic dental hygienist; Shelly, his virginal Christian girlfriend; Al, a bass player in Shawn and Shelly’s God Rock band; Milo, the band’s manager (and an anti-abortion activist); and Vince, a wealthy man who poses a threat to Shawn’s leadership position.” Never Been Thawed loses some steam by trying to maintain the same edgy humor for the entire length of the film.” (Monder, 2006) In overall estimations, this movie is a beautiful blend of humor, drama and technical expertise. It has utilized all the available (due to low budget) cinematic paraphernalia to make the movie according to the grandeur of the subject-matter and Sean Anders (the director) remains successful in this attempt. But it is also evident that “Never Been Thawed” isn’t quite up to the master’s standards.