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The Peanut Butter Falcon

The Peanut Butter Falcon

2019 | Tyler Nilson | Michael Schwartz

Zak runs away from his care home to make his dream of becoming a wrestler come true.

Average rating   8 out of 10

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Mark Bladt     2020-11-25 8 out of 10

”Are you a good guy or a bad guy?” That is the central question of Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz’ movie “The Peanut Butter Falcon” from 2019.

In the movie we follow the main character Zak, a 20-year-old man with Down’s syndrome. In the beginning he is placed in a retirement home by the state in the southern USA. But after 30 months of retirement home and pudding Zak has had enough. Zak wants to be a wrestler like his great idol The Salt Water Redneck played by Thomas Hayden Church. Zak has watched his Salt Water Redneck wrestling VHS tapes many times not realizing that the tapes are old and his idol is most likely an old man now. After several unsuccessful escape attempts Zak manages to escape with the help of is roomie Carl played by Bruce Dern. The course is set for The Salt Water Redneck and his wrestling school.

Shortly after his escape he meets the crab fisher Tyler played by Shia La Beuf. Tyler is deeply grief stricken and unable to function socially because of the death of his brother. Together they journey to the Wrestling school since Tyler is already heading that way.

The movie has wonderful photography and the two (later three) companions work really well together. Tyler’s sorrow and pain over the loss of his brother is displayed slowly throughout the movie, you feel with Tyler while we’re slowly told what happened. It never gets overplayed or silly. Shia La Beuf shows us that he is really good actor and not just the confused celebrity that the media loves to show us.

Zack Gottsagen is not to be forgotten. He is amazing in the role of Zak and in the beggnining he is wonderfully annoying. Throughout the movie Zack just gets better and better. I am happy to see that Gottsagen has already been signed up for two more movies.  Zack shows us that he can be both strong and vulnerable, but he also manages to show us a naïve childish joy over meeting his big idol but also when he catches a fish with his bare hands.

I don’t think I knew a single track on the movie’s soundtrack before watching “The Peanut Butter Falcon”, but the music is delightful. Maybe that is because I didn’t know it beforehand, but I really felt that the music worked really well.  




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