The Little Things

The Little Things ★★★

“It’s the little things, Jimmy. It’s the little things that rip you apart, it’s the little things that... get you caught.”

Whilst prominently inspired by Se7en, I certainly don’t think - Hancock’s 90s crime thriller - is a particular or even direct antecedent of Fincher’s classic. For a film set in the 90s, it certainly abides by that, feeling like a film trapped in the 90s, especially not all that new.

What derives out of this inspiration and time, is that of three mesmerising performances. The hotshot young detective, a delicacy of Malek’s charming peculiarity and youthful assurance; the troubled mentor-figure, elder cop, a subtly contemplative performance from one of our generation’s finest actors, brooding over the film’s atmosphere; and - impressively - that of Jared Leto’s creepy, truly psychological ambiguity of the mysteriously macabre suspect of the film’s two leads.

Those three elevate this film in many ways. The film is shot beautifully and assisted by a very quiet but felt score that operates slyly in the background, but it’s at its plotting and writing that it doesn’t reach its heights, and that’s where the three Academy Award winning actors step in to heighten the material bestowed onto them and their specifically compelling character trio.

Seeing two great actors like Denzel and Rami play off each other from scene to scene, developing a further understanding for each other as the film progresses - through their time together on this particular witness - is a highlight of the film. It’s astonishing how good both men can be and in light of that disguisedly cathartic but perhaps further alarming ending, their entire chemistry throughout this just plays off better.

A promising start off to Warner Brothers - HBO Max’s slate of releases this year. Engrossing and the perfect mystery to venture into, carried strong by a foundation of gold-worthy performances but even in inspiration and a majority of success in execution, The Little Things still manages to fall short on certain fronts, where were it not for its leads, the foundation would be a fallible layer certain to collapse under its own weight.

Ash liked these reviews