Little Boy REVIEW


Set in the turbulent times of World War II, Little Boy presents to us the story of 8-year-old Pepper Flynt Busbee, a boy with eyes that want to drink in the world, as if to make up for what he lacks in height. Even though his father is drafted in the war, Pepper continues to plow into life headfirst with his philosophy that if he believes hard enough, he can do anything, including bringing his father back. With the help of Mr. Hashimoto, an old softhearted grouch, the “little boy” in question embarks on a quest to complete a list of good deeds to miraculously end the war.

Little Boy is an unexpected gem of a movie that never whacks us over the head with ideals. All the morals and simple storylines somehow work because we’re seeing the world from Pepper’s point of view. The film takes Matthew 17:20 and runs with it, allowing room for some people to call a miracle coincidence and others to call it God’s hand. It reminded me of the wide-eyed childhood innocence that sits on a dusty shelf in my heart. This was in part because of Jakob Salvati (Pepper) who has the acting chops to pull off anything the script requires, from earnest belief in the impossible to heart-wrenching tearful grief. It’s quite a shocker to see David Henrie playing Pepper’s older brother, as his character here is a far cry from Justin Russo on Wizards of Waverly Place—a spectacular performance, nonetheless.

The movie dared to go places I thought a typical feel-good movie would avoid. It explores the racism Japanese Americans faced after the bombing of Pearl Harbor as well as the terrors of war (Hiroshima, injured soldiers, PTSD, etc). I thought it was well done how Director Alejandro Monteverde intercut scenes of Pepper’s father in war with Pepper’s own life. Little Boy is a film you cannot help but like, with the heartwarming aura of the great American classics.


First Published At


About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of playwriting competitions held by California Young Playwrights, The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets. She won a National Gracie Award in Student Online Video Host Category by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation .

Posted on April 9, 2015, in Movie Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: