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“Small Engine Repair.” Transforming his play from the stage to the screen, John Pollono writes, directs, and stars in Small Engine Repair, a film about toxic manhood, men who feel that culture, and its effects on women in their lives. Pollono doesn’t hold back when it comes to interviews, which is very crass but cohesive, and its strength is what ultimately carries the movie to the end. While the message of Small Engine Repair is clear, it does not move completely and is cracked on its way, with a twisted twist that does not fit.
Small Engine Repair Movie Review
Arranged in “Manch-Vegas” which is a humorous term used to describe those living in Manchester, New Hampshire (and described with help at the beginning of the film), the story follows Frank (Pollono), a former machine shop clerk, and his best friends Swaino as Jon Bernthal and Packie as Shea. Whigham). The three spend most of their time cracking jokes, telling anecdotes, and trying to understand how social media works (thanks to Packie, who knows how to surround Instagram).
Their chemistry keeps the film together even when things go awry, and their relationship and intimacy are further enhanced by their love for Frank’s 17-year-old daughter (Ciara Bravo), who, among other things, has a difficult history with her mother and Frank’s estranged wife Karen (Jordana Spiro).
Although Frank can’t afford it, Crystal is on the verge of making them all proud after being accepted into a major university. Hope for a better future is approaching like a beacon passing through a dark cloud that has followed their lives for years. Things get darker, however, when they cross paths with a drug dealer, Chad (Spencer House), an event that eventually changes the tone of the film and the direction of the story. While the film is full of lively (and testosterone-fueled) dialogues, Small Engine Repair takes its fun time to get to the crux of the story, moving slowly.
What was once a storyline in the game turned into a storytelling story, Pollono left Swaino telling them the story of fetching women from the bar to give the castles a glimpse of the event. It is designed to add layers to a heavy narrative film, but flashbacks, including one in Crystal’s childhood, are often disrupted and disrupt the natural flow of the flaming and flammable material.
The film goes very well with Frank, Packie, and Swaino making word-of-mouth arguments, telling stories, and otherwise putting it together. In these moments, the performances of Pollono, Bernthal (a different talent), and Whigham rise as they play alone, their various voices doing craftsmanship to create the film.
And yes, Pollono has a lot to say about the ways in which toxic masculinity affects male friendships – most of the anecdotes that raise women while opposing them at the same time, entertaining the story while dismissing women – and how and how it undermines its impact on Crystal’s life. To that end, Small Engine Repair did an excellent job of taking Frank and his friends to a life of trying to shut you down with jerseys like the right-wing and extremely toxic drug dealer Chad.
However, with the advent of Chad when the cracks in the film are really starting to show, with Frank making a violent plan to punish him and use violent force to intimidate and drive home a point that becomes more difficult on its way. The small and twisted twin of the Little Engine in its last act is worse and worse, it changes the comedy scenes of the film and sends it to a very dark place. The film ends with a hopeful text, but it seems empty in view of all that has come before it. Small Engine Repair.
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