This week my wife and I watched a film called The Peanut Butter Falcon and we loved it. I’d like to recommend it to you to watch. It is a heartwarming tale, and we need those as much now as we ever have before.
At the time of this writing, The Peanut Butter Falcon is available to stream on Hulu in the United States.
What is it about?
The film is about two characters, Zak (played by Zack Gottsagen) and Tyler (played by Shia LaBeouf). It takes place in Virginia. Zak is a man with Down Syndrome. He has no family and no one to care for him. He is a ward of the state of Virginia. The state has nowhere else to put him, so he is placed inside of a nursing home for the elderly. He hates it there. He has a dream of one day becoming a professional wrestler. He escapes the facility he is kept within and heads out to pursue his dream.
He soon meets up with Tyler. Tyler is a down-on-his-luck fisherman who has angered the wrong people. Tyler and Zak are both on the run and heading the same direction, so they go on an adventure together.
What’s so good about it?
Firstly, it’s a wholesome, heartwarming tale. It takes heavy inspiration from the works of Mark Twain (in particular, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn). Our heroes go through trials and tribulations. They learn and grow together. I’d like to not say too much about their journey, but it’s great to watch. There are thrills and tension. There are moments of quiet, peace, and reflection. It’s a lovingly crafted tale.
The biggest thing this film has going for it are the actors. Zack Gottsagen is absolutely sensational as Zak. Zack has Down Syndrome himself. One might be tempted to think that a person with such a severe disability would be unable to act and perform well in a film. One would be wrong. When you watch this movie, you’ll be amazed at this man’s talent.
Shia LaBeouf gets a bad rap these days. And if you’ve only seen the Transformers films, you’d likely think very little of his acting abilities. But he is having a renaissance in his career. This movie and another film called Honey Boy are definitive proof that he is an acting force to be reckoned with. I’ve always liked Shia. He’s been through some really challenging stuff (watch Honey Boy if you want to know what I mean, it’s semi-autobiographical). I am very glad to see that he is doing alright. He could be so much worse off than he is, given what he’s gone through.
Why should I watch it?
In addition to what I’ve said already, I’d like to add one thing. This is the kind of movie that has stuck with me. In the days since watching it, I look back on it and I appreciate it more and more. Some films seem wonderful upon first viewing, but over time you start to see the flaws and the film diminishes in your mind. This is the exact opposite. The more I think about it, the more I like it. I’m hard-pressed to even think of a flaw in the film a this time. It really accomplishes what it set out to do.
This movie is wholesome and heartwarming. It will increase your appreciation for the people around you. It will especially lift up your thoughts, feelings, and expectations of disabled people. As a person of able mind and body, it can be easy to look down upon and think less of those who have disabilities. This film can help you reset that mindset and remember the humanity that is within all of us. I cannot recommend this movie enough.