What’s on Deacon’s keychain in The Little Things and what does it represent? We break down the images of the stars in John Lee Hancock’s 2021 thriller.
WARNING: Spoilers for The little things.
What’s on Deacon’s keychain in The little thingsand what does it represent? Written and directed by John Lee Hancock, the 2021 thriller includes subtle clues to the true identity of the film’s serial killer, along with multiple MacGuffins that drive the plot and further develop the main character arcs. However, some key moments are so brief that the audience may not understand the meaning during the first viewing.
In The little thingsFormer LAPD Detective Deke Deacon (Denzel Washington) works as a Kern County Sheriff in California. Five years after a mental breakdown, he returns to Los Angeles to briefly help with a homicide case. After discussing the details with Detective Jim Baxter (Rami Malek), he reminds him of an unsolved murder that nearly cost him his life. At 31 minutes, Deacon meets a coroner named Flo (Michael Hyatt), who gives the sheriff an item from his keychain. “To remind me of what I did” Flo says, “For what we did.” The little things It does not immediately reveal the meaning of the star-shaped item, but it is clearly a symbol of something from Deacon’s past.
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Just as the keychain is thematically connected to Deacon’s past in The little things, a hair piece is used to prepare for weather events. While investigating the murder of Rhonda Rathbun (Maya Kazan), Baxter learns that the victim was wearing a red barrette on the night of her disappearance. After identifying the prime suspect, Albert Sparma (Jared Leto), and illegally searching his home, detectives find no evidence that could be used in court. Sparma’s behavior suggests that he is indeed guilty, and the man eventually leads Baxter to a desert location where Rathbun’s body has presumably been buried. However, in a moment of rage, Baxter kills Sparma with a shovel and then waits for Deacon to arrive. At this point, a flashback sequence reveals that Deacon accidentally shot and killed a young girl five years earlier, resulting in her mental breakdown. In a final twist, Deacon helps cover up Sparma’s murder and buys a red barrette which he sends to Baxter. The little things It implies that Malek’s character is about to suffer a mental breakdown, however the pin allows him to believe that Sparma was actually guilty.
What’s on Deacon’s keychain?
The object on Deacon’s keychain is a bullet that was taken from a murder victim. Five years earlier, the Washington character accidentally killed a young woman while searching the woods for a suspect. The little things reveals that Deacon was suspended and eventually had a mental breakdown, which resulted in a divorce as well. In the first act of the film, the Washington character asks Flo to take out the records of his accidental murder case, causing the coroner to worry about Deacon’s mood.
Shortly before the two hour mark in The little things, a flashback sequence reveals that Flo helped cover up the true cause of death for Deacon’s victim. She removes the bullet during an autopsy and later informs the detective that she listed “multiple stab wounds” as the cause of death. Five years later, Flo reveals to Deacon that she kept the bullet as a reminder and then gives it to him as a defense mechanism during the meeting at the restaurant.
The symbol appears MUCH more than on the keychain
The bullet on the deacon’s keychain is shaped like a star, which becomes a recurring visual motif throughout The little things. After the restaurant scene, Deacon visits the home of a murder victim named Julie Brock (Tiffany Gonzalez). When the lights come on, there is a star pattern on the far right of the screen. In the bedroom, there are also several star-shaped lights, including some that are blue. At the 42 minute mark, Etta James’s “At Last” plays over images of police cars, with the lyrics “The stars above are blue” which implies that someone from the LAPD may be responsible for the various murders.
Halfway The little things, the star images become more prominent. During Sparma’s first confrontation with Deacon, a flashlight creates a star-like glow, and the same is true of Baxter’s headlights during his journey into the desert with the suspect. When Deacon kills a woman in a flashback sequence, there is even a star pattern on the flashlight of his partner, Sal Rizoli (Chris Bauer). In fact, the light even seems to temporarily blind Washington’s character moments before he fires a fatal shot. On the surface, the symbolism of the star appears to be thematically linked to the police, however there appears to be a deeper meaning in The little things.
Little Things Keychain Symbolism Explanation
The little things’ The symbolism of the keychain takes on a new meaning during the violent climax. Throughout the film, images of the stars hover over Deacon like a haunting spirit – he’s at the first crime scene, he’s in Sparma’s apartment, and he’s literally on Washington’s character keychain as he travels through the area. Los Angeles metropolitan area. In the end, the image of the star appears in the headlights of Baxter’s vehicle, almost as if it were possessing the detective and pushing him to kill. The next morning, a top image shows Sparma’s corpse in a sacrificial position similar to that of Jesus, implying that he was unjustly killed. An aerial view of numerous burial holes also has a star-shaped design.
The images of stars in The little things Thematically it parallels religious imagery, be it the artwork on Deacon’s bed in a hotel room or the staging of Sparma’s corpse. The two lead detectives also have various conversations about religion, with Deacon constantly warning Baxter about getting caught up in an existential crisis. The final tragedy is that Baxter, like Deacon five years earlier, appears to be on the verge of mental breakdown when the end of The little things, with the only saving grace being a false piece of evidence that can be used to attribute Rathbun’s murder to Sparma. In The little things, the image of the star apparently represents the long-term consequences of being a police officer, as a bright light with shades of blue follows Deacon and Baxter at all times.
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