23rd May2019

‘Little’ Review – Second Opinion

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Issa Rae, Marsai Martin, Regina Hall, Tone Bell, Luke James, Mikey Day, JD McCrary, Tucker Meek, Thalia Tran, Justin Hartley, Rachel Dratch | Written by Tina Gordon, Tracy Oliver | Directed by Tina Gordon

little-poster

Little, directed by Tina Gordon Chism, follows tough stuck up business women Jordan Sanders after she’s transformed into her younger child self during her latest meltdown at work. Hilarity Ensues. Little is a fine comedy that plays about with its subject matter in a restrained, albeit, fun circumstance.

Without sounding pretentious and ultra-arthouse, at its heart Little is a child’s film plain and simple. While that might sound like a degrading remark, let me assure you it isn’t. Agreed elements of Little are slightly “out there” and at times a little provocative than it perhaps should be, however, at the basis of this narrative we have a wonderfully executed tale on the teething pain of growing up, on both stages of a painful childhood and morally obtrusive adult life. It serves its purpose on all elements by being a simplistic fun and entertaining ride with lessons for its young audience to take away.

By that account, it’s difficult to assess this piece of cinema in regard to where it goes right or wrong. Being in the early stages of my own adult life I found the story to work just as effective, if not more engaging being on the other side of the intended target audience. Theres’s a lot here to unpack thematically speaking, and Little achieves such by conveying such elements simply and clearly with its subject matter, courtesy of writers Tina Gordon Chism and Tracy Oliver.

The humour is, of course, a little childish – understandably – but remains poignant in its conviction of the subject matter. It never falls into a condescending or patronizing territory, and thankfully so, as many films within the genre fail to understand who they’re actually writing for, but Little just about gets it right. It is the performances here that are undoubtedly the highlight of the picture.

Regina Hall absolutely nails a wonderfully wicked and ferocious character as the adult Jordan Sanders. We don’t particularly get much of said performance in the film but when exercised correctly Hall lights up the entire screen with a strong dose of energetic lightening. Issa Rae impresses tenfold as the comedic relief but also brings a heart and warm to the picture with a brilliant turn as April. It is, however, the performance Marsai Martin as younger Jordan Sanders that steals the show. How Martin grapples with the emotional weight of her character and the comedic prowess results in a brilliantly dynamic performance, well beyond her years as an actress.

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