The Parts You Lose
R0 - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (12th April 2020).
The Film

"The Parts You Lose" (2019)

Wesley (played by Danny Murphy) is a 10 year old with a hearing impairment. While he is picked on at school by bullies, things are much nicer at home with his mother Gail (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who helps him with sign language as much as possible and finds time to have fun with him, along with his little sister Amber (played by Charlee Park). Being the only one that cannot hear in his family, Wesley feels distant from his father Ronnie (played by Scoot McNairy), who cannot sign and is not around often. But one day, Wesley encounters an injured man (played by Aaron Paul) on the snowy road. Involved in an armed robbery and wanted by the police, Wesley takes him to an abandoned barn, where he helps the weakened man who becomes an unlikely friend and mentor to the young boy.

"The Parts You Lose" is a fairly straightforward story of a young child going through a difficult life. He has trouble at home with a father that doesn't and trouble at school where he has no friends. Even with the pain that he is carrying for feeling like a burden to his family and not being able to stand up for himself, he still has a heart, as seen with him helping the wounded man throughout the film. It's not only bringing medicine and food, but he refuses to leave the side of the fugitive. Wesley sees a part of himself in the fugitive, as a wounded soul that desperately needs help and is at a breaking point. The man starts to teach Wesley how to fight back by using physical strength and also mentally preparing him for confronting the bullies in the future. The two play checkers but the game is not like it was when Wesley played the game with his mother. The man doesn't let the child win, and in essence teaches him to think and prepare before making his decisions. Unknowingly, the man becomes a surrogate father to Wesley, giving him more life advice that his real father had ever done.

There isn't anything flashy in "The Parts You Lose", with a a normal pace in the character driven piece, with a lot of sequences with minimal or no dialogue, with some scenes sounding nearly mute to have the audiences placed in the head of the Wesley character. There is little if any humor in the story, and even the scenes between Wesley and the fugitive that could've benefited from some humorous play is devoid of any, letting things play out dramatically instead. The entire film is on the tense side, with the confrontation of Wesley and the bully sequence being incredibly effective in the pace and the payoff being much more realistic, yet more satisfying than expected. While the film is well done, it does not take many risks, nor does it give off a lot of surprises in the narrative. The script by Darren Lemke has good moments but plays things safe for the most part, and the direction by Christopher Cantwell is effective though not the most inspiring.

Danny Murphy who is hard of hearing in real life does an excellent job with the lead character, with his character transforming from a bullied and saddened child into someone much more mature by the end. Scoot McNairy and Aaron Paul are both intense in different ways, and hold a sharp contrast to the great and loving Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character. A small and intimate cast, all the main players give excellent performances. "The Parts You Lose" may not break new ground, but is certainly an intense little drama that works quite effectively.

Note this is a region 0 NTSC DVD

Video

Umbrella Entertainment presents the film in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio with anamorphic enhancement in the NTSC format. Although taking place in the snowy north, it is a very dark looking film with a dark transfer. Snow looks like it has a dark grey with a bluish hue rather than pure white, and the indoor scenes at home look to be underlit at all times. The skies are frequently overcast and basically everything including skin tones have a darker than usual look. Looking at the trailer which has the same color correction, this seems to be what was intended and not a faulty transfer. It looks unnatural, but it doesn't seem like it could be faulted. There are some instances of macroblocking in the transfer seen in a few sequences here and there, but nothing drastic to hinder the viewing pleasure.

The film's runtime is 93:37.



















Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1
The 5.1 track is a very good one, well balancing the dialogue, music, and effects. The dialogue is sparse, but always coming in clear from the center channel. The surrounds are used effectively for the droning score and effects such as helicopter and car sounds, plus the nearly muted sound when in the view of the main character. There are no issues such as audio dropouts or errors to speak of.

There are no subtitles offered for the feature.

Extras

No extras are provided on disc, with the film starting when the disc is inserted and the disc stopping once the film ends. The trailer which is not on the disc has been embedded below, courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment.

Packaging

The rear states "region 4" only, but is in fact region 0.

Overall

"The Parts You Lose" is an indie drama that builds up intensity quite effectively with a strong cast. It may not be the most original or one to twist expectations, but there are some great moments throughout. The Umbrella Entertainment DVD has a fine transfer but devoid of any extras.

The Film: B Video: B Audio: A- Extras: F- Overall: C

 


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