After detective Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) makes a regrettable decision regarding creepy repairman Albert Sparma (Jared Leto), Joe “Deke’ Deacon reiterates The Little Things‘ titular quote. “It’s the little things that are important, Jimmy,” says Deke. “It’s the little things that get you caught.” Unfortunately for The Little Things’ version of Se7en’s Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, Leto may not be as guilty as Kevin Spacey.
John Lee Hancock’s film follows Deke, a former LAPD detective and current deputy sheriff who, along with a younger detective named Jim, hunts a serial killer in Los Angeles. The killer’s M.O. resembles one from an unsolved murder case that destroyed Deke’s life. Halfway through the film, Deke and Jim find a potential suspect in Albert, a mentally-disturbed true crime enthusiast. All of the evidence against Albert is circumstantial, and before The Little Things can go all “what’s in the box?!” Albert provokes Jim into (accidentally) killing him. The massive question: did Albert Sparma do it? Let’s take a look at “the little things” that may or may not be an indication of Albert’s culpability.
Albert may have only been guilty of being creepy AF. This is not to say he wasn’t a dangerous individual. However, there are just too many narrative loose ends to say “Albert did it.” The Little Things either has an issue with systematic complicity or is a jumbled commentary on the pitfalls of guilt, obsession, faith, and intuition. The trailers had the right idea, make Denzel the killer because in an era without cell phones and lackluster DNA tech, Albert Sparma is a free, yet very dead, man.
Conclusion: Despite thinking about it (all the time), Albert Sparma didn’t do it
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