The Little Things is a long-winded mess that is only saved by its cast.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto
n this day and age of multiple streaming sites producing content faster than any other time in history, even a thriller ‘noir’ can make you lose interest if it is a colossal mess. There are always other options.
Anyway, back to the film.
It is almost exhaustive to watch The Little Things. You only do your best to finish it because the cast is so good and is made up of a trio of Oscar winners: Rami Malek, Denzel Washington and Jared Leto.
In the Little Things, it becomes obvious, very early on what is going on: an exhausted, traumatized former cop (Denzel Washington) is sent to collect evidence with the present detective (Rami Malek) for a case. It is the case of finding a serial killer. Since a serial killer with a same M.O is back, the former cop is back on the job. Well, technically, no, he isn’t, but that doesn’t keep him away.
An eager cop dismisses his orders and tries to to catch that serial killer by helping Washington instead. Because TV dramas are not filled with such storylines.
It is also obvious that the former cop is not doing alright. But that noticeable trauma is beautifully presented by Denzel.
The problem, is not in the idea, but with the awful, time-consuming execution. Running past 2 hours is a waste of time for most films and yet, this one deems it to be perfectly benign to drag the story along instead of editing with a sense of clarity.
As the two try to find the criminal, Jared Leto enters the picture. This is where the story is both good and bad. What happens to Rami Malek is what had happened to Denzel. He tries to help him out by trying to erase any sign that a crime has been committed. But it plays on Rami’s mind in such a way that he doesn’t remember. And after two hours of find the serial killer, the ending is extremely predictable.
The story is good because of how Malek, Washington and Leto play their roles. The story is bad because you can predict post-halfway what is about to happen. Props to the actors because without them, sitting through this film would’ve been impossible.
Leto is eerie and plays his role so well that we can dispense the notion of a reminder of any of his previous roles.
Washington, the acting dynamo in this trio, displays grief, trauma and possible PTSD with such humanity, you feel for the guy.
Mr. Robot star Rami Malek looks glib initially but he is the surprise package of the film if there is one. With every film, he gets better. This is one of those performances. But so much is left unsaid in a two-hour plus film. A lot needed to be edited out to perhaps make room for some conclusion.
But with this thriller noir, the conclusion is what you want it to be. Questions remain unanswered, and three great actors cross each other’s paths without a resolution of any sort for anyone. If in the mood for great acting, watch this. Otherwise, opt for a David Fincher thriller instead. They are infinitely superior.
Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection