The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete Reviews
This is a wonderful film, but not the first time I'm seeing. I mean there's a similar film called 'Children of Invention' about two Chinese-American kids. So this film tells the similar story about two kids whose parents were drug addicts. After they were taken by the cops, the two boys try to live by themselves, struggling to feed and hiding all day and night long from the authorities. But how long this thing can go and with a little message, the story comes to an end.
I won't say it was better than the other title I mentioned, but surely well developed than that. Still, I did not like the conclusion. There are some flawed parts like the shopkeeper trying to avenge in front of the cops. Yet the overall film was kind of realistic. That approach is what I liked from this. The two lead kids were brilliant. The entire film revolves around them, basically the camera never takes off the lens from them.
At some point it gets emotional, but the negativity was actually telling the truth. I mean the child welfare is to protect them, but not in this film, any film around the world, they are portrayed like they are the child snatchers. Like a boogeyman. That must change which is in the hands of the organisation to alter their approach to handling such situation. Definitely it is a must see film, despite a few defects. The theme was strong with drugs and sex references, so I think it is not suitable for the kids, despite two kids in the lead. But I think it would work if they were supervised by their parents.
There are some very good performances to admire, not least from Skylan Brooks as Mister who shows an impressive range on his debut, alternating between angry resentment, vulnerability and desperation. The film works best in the scenes between Mister and Pete, finding glimmers of happiness amongst the grim realities of surviving the poverty and various villains that inhabit their world. At times the grimness of their situation and the range of baddies they have to contend with seem a bit heavy-handed, but the touches of wit and humanity balance it out and stop it from being dragged under by its own weight.
There are a few mis-steps, but on the whole this is a success. Full of nicely observed details and performances - well worth a watch.
Full review at ponderflix on wordpress.