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Luckylyn

The Little Things (2021)

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If you were on the jury and given the evidence they had would you be able to convict Sparma?  There’s no physical evidence.  He’s a creep who gets off on murder pictures  and clearly enjoys the attention from police.  I don’t think they even established whether or not he had an alibi and the trinkets (rabbit’s foot and watch) hidden in the floor of his apartment don’t connect to the current murders.  He either fetishizes the crimes of others or is guilty of a different murder than the one he’s being investigated for.  
 

At one point I thought they were hinting that Sparma’s father was the killer for Denzel’s case because the projected picture of father and son was on the wall while Denzel Washington was looking at Sparma’s secret stash of murder newspaper clippings.  I was thinking maybe the reason Sparma was able to give such an accurate detailed fake confession years ago was because he knew the killer personally but they never pursue a family angle.

 I think there’s reasonable doubt and that’s intentional.  We’re supposed to be left wondering who the serial killer really is.  I think it’s two different killers.  One drives a blue car (opening sequence)and the other drives a tan/gold car (follows jogger/missing woman). 

 I feel like the movie went off the rails when Jimmy got in the car with Sparma.   I wish they’d found a different more realistic way to get to the shovel outcome.   I actually laughed went he wacked him with the shovel because I was thinking “Just hit him with the shovel and go home.”  

Edited by Luckylyn
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Sparma totally would've walked. And I kind of believe he should've.

Interesting that they decided to set this in the '90s, because this was definitely a '90s-type movie. Very Seven-ish. (Glad they didn't go with that ending.)

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Apparently the script was written in the 90s and it was decided to keep it in that era.   It makes sense because DNA not being a source for evidence adds to the uncertainty.  

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I really appreciated this YouTube video talking about an issue the film displays but doesn’t really dig into. 
 

The Little Things:  How to Accidentally Stumble Upon a Great Point Without Realizing It

Normally the hero cop narrative has the police detective break the rules, and the narrative rewards him for it.   They can do illegal searches and use physical aggression on suspects, but it’s okay because they get the bad guy in the end with these tactics.  The detective never faces consequences for blatantly using illegal tactics.  The subtext is police who use illegal methods are justified because it’s assumed the cop is good and right and that those whose rights are violated probably deserve it.  
 

This movie contradicts that.  We don’t know that Sparma is the bad guy and in fact it’s very likely he isn’t in my opinion.  But not only are they not rewarded by the narrative claiming they were right about Sparma’s guilt, but it displays the system within the police force protects them when they break the rules rather than allow them to face consequences when they screw up.   The focus becomes protecting their own over protecting civilians.  At the end of the movie Denzel decides reassuring Jimmy he was right was more important than finding out for sure who the killer is.  Jimmy needs to believe Sparma is guilty to live with himself and Denzel decides that’s the most important thing.  Justice for the victims and the fact that one woman  is still missing becomes an afterthought.  

Edited by Luckylyn
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3 hours ago, Luckylyn said:

I feel like the movie went off the rails when Jimmy got in the car with Sparma.   I wish they’d found a different more realistic way to get to the shovel outcome.   I actually laughed went he wacked him with the shovel because I was thinking “Just hit him with the shovel and go home.”  

This is where the movie lost me too. I love my crime dramas and I also love closure. I didn't get it here so I'm not sure I will watch it again.

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Agreed that the issue of police protecting their own would have been a very interesting topic to explore but the ending just let it hang for purposes of Rami’s closure, which was almost worse.  Denzel made a mistake anyone could, Rami was stupid (so was Jared).

 So kind of an unsatisfactory ending.  
 

did Denzel’s character really have a heart attack or was that just the excuse for him to leave the police station? 
 

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This movie was crap! I heard it was not worth watching but I thought hey, why not make use of my hbo max subscription.

 

good thing I didn’t pay extra money for this.

 

I think Jared Letos character did it, sparma? I don’t even remember his name! But I agree the movie really went sideways once jimmy got in the car with him and started digging with his back turned *eyeroll*

 

how did they get 3 stars to be in this? 
 

if someone else is the killer, did they even show or hint who it could be? 

Edited by snickers
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There was something really wrong with the script or the direction in this movie. It seemed a muddled mess, even if the points it was trying to make were interesting. Maybe that's why it took 30 years to get the script filmed.  I also think Rami Malek was severely mis-cast.

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I assumed the heart attack was made up as an excuse for him to quit abruptly while hiding what really happened.   It was established that he was very successful.   Him quitting like that would get attention and I thought the heart attack was part of the coverup.  

The thing about Sparma is that Denzel had total access to his apartment in the end and still found no evidence linking him to the murders.  He had to fake evidence for Jimmy by buying the red barrette.  With everything they did (illegal surveillance and illegal search) they never found any evidence at all.  The only thing I am certain of is that Sparma was a creepy attention seeking manipulative asshole with a murder fetish.  That alone doesn’t make him a murderer. I’m still wondering who were the owners of the watch and rabbit’s foot he hid with his crime clipping collection.  Is that evidence of a different crime or something else?  There’s so much we don’t know for sure.  

They zeroed in on Sparma because he had such a disturbing personality.  I don’t remember them establishing an alibi, linking him to all the victims, or finding any physical evidence .  I think he had a link to one victim because she had a broken fridge and he worked at the repair shop but we never saw the detectives check to see if the other victims also had broken appliances that would have put them in his path.  When they had him in the interrogation room they never asked about where he was on particular dates.  All they did was show pictures of the victims to gauge his reaction and then Denzel assaults him but did not ask any questions that would have helped establish his location and whether or not he could have known any of the victims through his repair job.   They wasted that interrogation in my opinion.  They let Sparma and his attention seeking creepiness be in control instead of focusing on the important questions.  They needed to get him on the record about his alibi and then investigate if he was lying.  If he’s guilty he covered his tracks perfectly and there just isn’t enough to even indict him.  They couldn’t even get a search warrant.  Having an instinct that tells you someone is guilty isn’t the same as having evidence.  They let themselves get distracted playing cat and mouse with Sparma instead of zeroing in on the important details.

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I thought the movie was a decent one but only because I watched it on HBO Max.  If I had gone to the theaters I might have gotten bored.  I enjoy this kind of police story.   It was slow burn and I kinda guessed how it would go pretty quick but that doesn’t bother me.   It wasn’t art but it wasn’t crap either.    I really like the premise that it really is the little things that screw people up.    
 

I thought everyone had sufficient amount of chemistry but the idea that Sparma quit suddenly because of some  heart attack didn’t make sense and I don’t think Jimmy bought it either but you could see Jimmy heading for a fall through  the whole movie.  I kept asking myself “what’s in the box Jimmy?” When he finally just up and killed the guy in the desert it was a moment of surprise for me I actually kinda expected Jimmy’s wife to be in one of the holes.   But still I thought the movie was nothing special just average but not crap either.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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I really enjoyed the is one! I don’t think Sparma was the killer at all, he was just an attention seeking creepy murder junkie. Rami Malek was right when he said they had the wrong guy because he had falsely confessed to a different murder 8 years ago. There was zero evidence that actually pointed to Sparma.

I wonder if this movie was written right after Seven came out because it had some really strong similarities. Like almost ripping off similarities. 

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