The little things, big mind games

Published 10:18 am Friday, February 5, 2021

Greetings, my fellow inquisitive gumshoe cinephiles of Winchester!

Human nature can be quite dark. Turn on the news, read the paper, surf the web, and you will find our days are full of greed, death, deception, and mystery. Does that make life bad? No, it’s just  a bit more challenging to navigate through the waters of each day when your moral compass is in constant need of calibration.

Being led astray is a constant fear for parents with their children, but adults are led astray as well. Lust, greed and ambition lead adults astray every day, no matter if they are upstanding citizens or not. The dangers of the streets, the mind, and the heart can be seen in today’s film, “The Little Things” (2021).

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“The Little Things” is an American neo-noir crime thriller set in early 1990s Los Angeles, where we are introduced to security guard Joe Deacon (Denzel “Training Day” Washington), a former LAPD homicide detective who retreated from his badge and family after his last case on a track of a serial killer took a terrible turn and went cold. Deacon is now a shell of a man he once was, weathered from living in deep regret, remorse, and his troubled past when he meets a young, ambitious detective, Jim Baxter (Rami “Bohemian Rhapsody” Malek). Baxter is pursuing a killer of his own when meeting Deacon, and the two share a connection. Deacon takes on a role of mentor to the young Baxter due to the similarities of elements with the current and cold cases as they chase the prime suspect, true crime enthusiast and creepy neighborhood appliance repairman Albert Sparma, (Jared “Dallas Buyers Club” Leto).

“The Little Things” was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, who is known for his family friendly and uplifting films “The Rookie” (2002), “The Blind Side” (2009), and “Saving Mr. Banks” (2013) rather than exploring the dark recesses of our minds and nature. Penned close to thirty years ago, “the Little Things” sat on a shelf just waiting to be greenlit and released. This couldn’t have come at a better time, and the numbers do not lie. Since COVID-19 and quarantine have become part of our everyday lexicon, mystery films, crime documentaries and whodunits have been favorites on every streaming service minus Disney+ unless you are big into animated yarns about kidnapped toymakers, then “The Great Mouse Detective” (1986) is sure to please.

“The Little Things” is dark tale that focuses more on the relationship of the two detectives and the downside of obsession to ambition. It is easy for all of us to become blind by our actions when pursuing truth and doing the right thing but in the wrong way. When our ambition becomes the sole vision in all we do, we lose sight of everything else, which in turn could result in everything being lost. It’s about the little things which we all take for granted such as family, friendship and the fact that most of us wake up every day and have done so for years. When you think about it, those little things are the most important things that make our lives extraordinarily big.

Stay safe out there and have a film-tastic day!