Big things come in little packages is what they say, right? Well, truth be told, itâ€™s a fact no one can deny.
A clear definition for such cute phrase would be Alejandro Monteverdeâ€™s LITTLE BOY!
Set in the 1940s, the film focuses on a little boy named Pepper (Jakob Salvati) who is willing to do whatever it takes to bring his dad back home from WWII in one piece, but most importantly alive. Running a gauntlet of complexities, Pepperâ€™s hope and courage begins to set off an inspirational display among those who surround him as he gradually reveals his indescribable love for his loving, caring father.
And as we speak, running a gauntlet is exactly what this beautiful film is doing.
â€œWeâ€™re in the middle of a war right nowâ€ expresses Mr. Monteverde during a phone interview (extended audio below) as the BELLA (’06) director opened up on his latest.
Fully aware of what awaits this weekend, along with some harsh reactions from critics all over the country, this upbeat, genuine individual stands strong, firm, and focused with what he believes in.
â€œI wanted to tell the ultimate underdog story. Iâ€™ve been an underdog all my life.â€
Mr. Monteverde touches up a bit more regarding the start of LITTLE BOYâ€™s production, till the end. From budgets, to rejections, where thereâ€™s a will, thereâ€™s a way.
â€œLimitation is creationâ€ is his motto. And well worth it, too.
Less is indeed more.
â€œThis movie is about sizes. Itâ€™s like David and Goliath. David is LITTLE BOY and Goliath is AVENGERS.â€
With much in mind during pre-production, itâ€™s a given that without a solid cast, the level of respect upon a project is weighed upon as well.
Putting his â€œlimitation is creationâ€ to work, casting was one of the major assets for LITTLE BOY.
From the start, itâ€™s always great to place a face to a character’s name and one of Mr. Monteverdeâ€™s grand casting prizes was Emily Watson.
â€œEmily was one of my trophies.â€
But it wasnâ€™t easy at first. Being a bit hesitant to shoot in Mexico (where production took place), â€œthey told me that around 1pm and I was on a red-eye by 10pm to London to convince her. She did it and Iâ€™m forever grateful.â€
However, that was only part of the puzzle.
â€œThe most important one was Jakob. I saw over one thousand children. I donâ€™t want to sound too dramatic, but if I would have picked the wrong kid, I donâ€™t think we would be having this conversation.â€
Terrifically cast, Jakob Salvati does a phenomenal job in LITTLE BOY.
Hereâ€™s whatâ€™s surprisingâ€¦
â€œAfter searching so long, I ended up casting a non-actor.â€
Brave sou, wouldn’t you say?
Going into much more detail about his casting process (extended audio below), sometimes in life one is provided with the best results from the things and people we least expect.
Resting on the poor kidâ€™s shoulders, the overall scope of LITTLE BOY is one that embellishes not being afraid to dream big, to believe, and last but not least tolerate and learn to respect what may be different from you.
One of the filmâ€™s subject-matters touches on the dangers and ignorance of labeling as a whole.
Beautifully executed, LITTLE BOY provides hope when we â€œdare and believe the impossible,â€ as stated by Mr. Monteverede.
Fully equipped with more than one can imagine, this is one of the yearâ€™s films that definitely leaves an emotional mark on those who choose to open their hearts to it. Recommended to the fullest, LITTLE BOY is must-see in my book.
CL Nation, for an in-depth understanding and appreciation for this touching film, click below and listen to our unedited, full-length interview.
LITTLE BOY In Theaters Now!
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