Review: Little Boy

This movie came out last year and I never really thought anything of it until this year. My fiance suggested we see this last night and I’m glad he did. This is an emotional story of the strong bonds between a father and son. So get ready to watch this with a box of tissues because it’s intense. There will be spoilers so please do not read if you don’t want the movie to be ruined for you.

This image released by Open Road Films shows Jakob Salvati, left, and Michael Rapaport in a scene from :Little Boy." (Andrew Cadelago/Open Road Films via AP)

It starts with a little boy and his father who hang out a lot. He is a father of two but he spends more time with his little boy. The little boy gets bullied a lot by other kids in town because of his height. He is small for his age and he gets teased by this large boy in town. I feel that his father spends more time with him because the little boy needs the attention more but his older brother is jealous of their bond. Now, this is never mentioned but you can see it when the older brother acts out. So this is set at the time of WWII. The older son applies for the army but because he has flat feet, he gets rejected and his father serves instead. This devastates the little boy because he is his best friend and his “partner.” They called each other partner when they played together and it was their thing. Now he feels a little lonely because he has no other friends. Later, his mother gets news that his father is a prisoner of war.

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The little boy’s mother tells his older brother to take him to a magic show he’s been wanting to go to with their father. Here he is asked to be a volunteer in which he moves a bottle across the table just with his mind.  Now he thinks that he can do anything if he willed it. This is where his delusion starts.

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In church he hears a sermon in which the pastor says, “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove ; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” The little boy takes this literally and he goes to the grocery store and steals a mustard seed. His brother takes him and convinces him to vandalize Hashimito’s home. After this they get into trouble. The older brother goes to jail and he is told to say Hail Marys in Latin. After praying, he goes to the church office and asks the priest for help. He is desperate to bring his father back from the war. The priest tries to teach him what faith is. He gives the little boy a list of things to do in order to grow his faith in God. But of course, the little boy has no idea who God really is and what he is about. His ultimate goal is to bring his dad back. The priest tells him that his dad will return only if it’s God’s will. The little boy replies, “But why wouldn’t God what to bring my dad back?” The priest doesn’t know what to say and just says that he doesn’t know. The little boy says, “But if I can’t enough faith, nothing’s impossible right?” Wow, this is tough. The priest just nods, yes.

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So with little children and really with any individual who is new to Christianity, it is important to choose your words carefully because they might misunderstand. Somewhere in the film Hashimoto tells the priest to not lead him on because he might eventually loose faith in himself. This film teaches us about not giving up and believing in ourselves. It also teaches us to believe in something bigger than us. To have faith in Him. But the one thing that the priest forgot to teach the boy is that prayer is also important. It’s hard to teach someone that things happen for a reason. We don’t know the reason why bad things happen but they happen to us all the time. It’s tough. Putting religion aside, the little boy learned to believe in himself and to stand up for himself. He learned to befriend Hashimoto who is a pariah in that town. He also learned that miracles happen (after they had news that his dad didn’t really die).

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I really do recommend this movie. You don’t have to be a Christian to watch it. Just keep an open mind and you’ll enjoy this film.

Audience: PG-13
Satisfaction factor: 9
Acting: 8
Story: 9
Direction: 9
Would I recommend: Yes

*Note: Based on a scale from 1 to 10. 1 being the worst and 10 being the best you could get in a category.

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