Director: Christopher Cantwell
Writer: Darren Lemke
Starring: Aaron Paul, Scoot McNairy, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Danny Murphy
The Parts You Lose, which is directed by Christopher Cantwell and written by Darren Lemke, is a drama/thriller about growing up and loyalty. It’s a short and understated film that puts the action on the back burner to make room for the characters and their bonds with each other.
It’s all about the bond between Wesley (Danny Murphy) and the unnamed man (Aaron Paul) that Wesley finds after school one day injured in the middle of the road. Their chemistry feels realistic and believable on screen. Wesley doesn’t have a good relationship with his father (Scoot McNairy), so he turns to the man as a father figure, and the man in turn takes Wesley under his wing, teaching him how to stand up for himself and guide him in life.
Wesley brings the man back to the barn on the farm that he lives on and helps him get back to full strength. They grow closer until a detective drops by one day to ask if Wesley had seen the man, who was actually involved in a robbery, and the last one of the gang on the run. To Wesley the man has been nothing but kind, and that causes a lot of conflict within him.
The Parts You Lose is a really nice and sweet understated film. It’s doesn’t delve deep into the man’s past, not even giving him a name, but instead focuses on the relationship between him and Wesley. Watching Wesley become more confident in himself is a heart-warming experience. When he does get questioned by the police, you don’t want him to lie, because you know it will end badly, but at the same time you completely understand why he does.
The film is about parenting. Wesley’s mother (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and father both have completely different ways of raising their son, with his mother being more patient and caring, while his father wants to prepare him for the harshness of the world he will grow into. There’s a great family dynamic.
It’s also really refreshing to see disabilities being shown, but not being the defining point of the character. Wesley, like Danny Murphy, is deaf and while that’s a vital part of his character, it’s not there just to serve as a plot point. Wesley is a fully realised character and writer Darren Lemke does a great job at incorporating his disability while also giving him other attributes and not making the plot revolve around it.
The Parts You Lose, doesn’t re-invent the wheel. Parts of the story feel very familiar, but it’s still an engaging and engrossing story, which is mainly down to the strong performances from Aaron Paul and Danny Murphy. It’s well worth seeking out, you won’t regret it.
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