The Peanut Butter Falcon


Review by Lewis Goodall

I think there should be more down syndrome people in wrestling. Without context that sentence must seem pretty strange but it’s the truth, I just think it would make the sport a more interesting sport to watch. Their unbelievable strength means they will be able to throw people further…… I wrote the rest of this part but Lily and I both deemed it too offensive so i’m cutting it short. Even writing this part i’m trying to not compare having the extra content to having an extra chromosome so i’m just going to stop here. On with the review.

The Peanut Butter Falcon, directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, is the inspirational story of Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a man with down syndrome who has been abandoned and left to be looked after by Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), a volunteer at a retirement home. Zak escapes the nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. During his escape, he crosses paths with Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), a criminal who is also on the run. Together they help each other become the people they want to be.

If you’re looking for a feel good film then watch this instantly. I personally love stories that include two completely different characters that bond over a journey. Pretty typical I know but done well, it can’t be beat. Growing alongside these characters along their journey is great, especially when you have connection that Zak and Tyler have. Both of them play their parts incredibly well, especially Zack considering this is his debut film. We’ve seen it portrayed before but having someone with down syndrome play someone with down syndrome really sold it. Zack is lovable and his passion for his dream of becoming a professional wrestler is inspiring. Having Tyler along the road, encouraging him and being the father figure makes it all that much better.

As he does escape the nursing home, Eleanor sets off on a goose chase to try and get him back. The aspect of people treating Zak like a child is pretty much on the forefront of the story, it’s not so much about the wrestling but more about treating Zak as a normal person which he is. Stop babysitting people with down syndrome, if they want to wrestle, let them wrestle, just don’t let them hold rabbits. The wrestling is of course a big part of the movie too, the driving force for both the protagonists. The story itself is packed super nicely to gradually help build the relationship between Zak and Tyler. Although feeling like a pretty cliche feel good film, it’s very much on the tip top of that ladder, you wont get much better than this. It’s a film that literally anyone can pick up and enjoy. You just can’t help but have a smile on your face throughout the whole film. I guess because this film is such a crowd pleasure, it doesn’t really take any risks in terms of story or character but st the same time that’s not its intended purpose, its here for you to go on an adventure.

Overall I cant really pick just one word to describe it because it’s heartwarming, inspiring, cute, sweet, pure, wholesome, all those nice words package into one 22 year old down syndrome man.

7.5 Cardboard Falcons out of 10

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