At the Movies – Little Boy (Netflix)

2016 At the movies February 2016 Suzanne A. Marshall

By Suzanne A. Marshall from the February 2016 Edition

Starring:  Jakob Salvati, Emily Watson, David Henrie, Tom Wilkinson, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Director:    Alejandro Monteverde

“An eight-year old boy is willing to do whatever it takes to end World War 11 so he can bring his father home. The story reveals the indescribable love a father has for his little boy and the love a son has for his father.”

The movie deals with some pretty sensitive issues. For one, the nastiness of youthful bullying and the plight of a small boy who is on the receiving end. For another, the story takes place during World War 11 when Japanese internment camps spraMarshSung up in the USA (and Canada) following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It didn’t matter at the time that these Japanese were immigrants and citizens of the country. The sheer hatred is palpable in the story and depicts behavior many of us would like to forget.

Amidst these issues we are captivated by a ‘little boy’ named Pepper who battles through the bullying and his own learned hatred. He believes that these Japanese are responsible for taking his father off to war. Yet he must contain his feelings in order to help bring his father home.

The movie offers up a mix of realities with a twist of fantasy. Pepper believes he can change things with the power of his mind. As played by Jakob Salvati, Pepper really plucked at my heart strings with his amazing characterization, especially in one so young.

The art direction, music, editing and cinematography in this film are wonderful as are the supporting cast of characters. It was shot on locations in Mexico. I would watch this movie again just to catch every detail I might have missed. Be aware that the reviews for this movie are notably mixed. They range from 1.5 stars by some critics to 5 out 5 stars by Netflix viewers. You’ll have to be willing to go along with the possibilities (or perhaps the impossibilities) of the story to truly enjoy it.

IMDB has rated this movie at 7.4/10 stars based on 12,579 viewers.

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