MovieChat Forums > The Little ThingsĀ (2021) Discussion > So what was the deal with Jared Leto's c...

So what was the deal with Jared Leto's character(spoiler)?


If he wasn't a killer, why would he taunt and play with the police like that?

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He was the killer. The movie just did not offer absolute confirmation that he was. But if you look at all the clues in the movie it adds up that it was him.

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you don't know that

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Do you have any prove that he wasn't, because I can list all the evidence that he was

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Deke wasn't sure.,

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He didn't say it was an absolute confirmation.

It's pretty much assumed he was the killer, but there is a bit in there that can hint he wasn't.

He had the stash of newspaper clippings hidden under the floorboards, had access to the places with his job, drank the same beer and milk, and seriously taunted the cops to the point where one was digging holes in the ground.

The whole point is Deke was haunted by his last case and didn't want Baxter to suffer like he did. He wanted Baxter to have absolution killing that man was worth it because he was the murderer. Hence giving him the barrette.

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Everything that jekporkins said.

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I don't think he killed anyone, he was picked up by the police several years earlier and forced to confess for a crime he didn't commit. He was most likely beaten and tortured, so he became mentally deranged and developed an unusual interest for crimes(a crime buff).
When he became a suspect again, he probably saw it as his chance to screw with the police and make them believe he actually did it, but they couldn't get any evidence because he was innocent.
At least this is what I think the movie tried to imply...

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Well you are entitled to your opinion, but I do not think the movie was trying to imply he was innocent. What I believe they said in the movie is that he walked into the police station himself and confessed to the murder. I don't believe he was picked up by the police. The reason he knew all the personal information about the crime was because he had a police scanner in his apartment and would hear it that way. Also he liked messing with the police as you see later in the film when he is lying to Baxter about where he buried the bodies and has him dig several holes. He knew about the victim and would have access to her apartment based on his occupation. Lastly, when the FBI takes over the case at the end and the profiler is giving a description of what the suspect would likely be, he fits all the criteria: 25-40 years old, a skilled laborer; able to pick-up and leave whenever, has no ties or relationships, has two cars one well maintained and the other with high miles. I guess I can see where you would see some of your views, but I think the movie was strongly indicating Leto's character was the killer without clearly stating it.

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I think it is very, very clear that the film not only implied, but practically stated outright, that Leto was not the killer.

Leto was someone who liked to mess with the police. There are people who confess to crimes they did not commit, and that's the sort of person Leto's character is meant to be.

As you point out, in the film we're told that 8 years prior he voluntarily walked into a police station, confessed to a crime, and revealed details only the police would know. But, it was later realized that he was nowhere near the scene of the crime at the time. He'd faked it because he gets off on that kind of thing.

In the film's opening scene, we meet the real killer. He drives a different car than Leto's character. That's not by accident. I believe the filmmakers did that to show it isn't Leto.

Leto states outright at the end, when he has Malek digging holes, that he killed no one. He's brought Malek out there to manipulate and taunt him, and revel in it. He didn't expect Malek to be pushed past his breaking point and kill him. He wanted to enjoy humiliating him.

The crimes are never solved in the film, and no definitive answer is given, but I think it's made pretty clear that Leto is innocent.

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I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I think he clearly was the killer. Also based on all the clues as well as the title (the little things that add up to a lot i.e. the identity of the killer)

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That's certainly possible. Part of the genius of the film is that it never explicitly reveals if he is the killer or not. It doesn't matter in the context of the story that's being told.

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Something else that I noticed but neglected to bring up-- they made it a point to show us that Sparma walked with a sort of limp, or staggering gait. Notice that the killer in the opening scene does not have any limp whatsoever.

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The "little things" are the things that misled the cops into thinking he was the killer. However, we -- the audience -- saw/knew "big things" that they didn't that clearly, to my mind, told us he wasn't the killer.

The obvious one was the opening scene. The second one big one was the fact Leto's character didn't recognize the girl when he came out of the washroom.

At the end, when Washington's character DIDN'T find the red barrette in the box, he knew in that moment that Leto's character wasn't the killer and that Malik's cop had killed an innocent man.

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i felt like he was most likely not a murderer. i got the impression he just liked messing with the cops

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We are never told how they know that he wasn't close to the crime scene. I don't remember, did they got the one that committed the old crime?

Or is it possible that Leto built himself an alibi while still committing the crime?

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They didn't go into detail, but the implication was that he had an airtight alibi. If you walk into a police station, confess to a murder, and provide details only the police know about the murder, they'll arrest you unless they are absolutely certain you are innocent.

The film is ambiguous about Sparma's guilt, but offers multiple reasons to believe he is innocent, and none to believe he is guilty.

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"provide details only the police know about the murder" - how can you say "none"???

yes, it's ambiguous, but there are plenty signs that he could be the murderer ...

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They explained that later when they showed that he had a police scanner in his home.

It seemed overall, any time they offered a hint that it might be him, they later negated it, but any time they offered a reason it wasn't him, they never did so.

Also, remember that we see the real killer in the opening scene, getting out of a brown car and walking with a powerful, normal stride. Sparma has a green car and a noticeable limp. I don't think those are accidental details.

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"They explained that later when they showed that he had a police scanner in his home."

The detectives don't discuss cases over radio ... so I don't think that he could get any details on the case from the scanner ...

Yeah, we don't know if the opening scene is with the killer or not either.

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The scene where Maleks character states that the location of one of the victims bodies was found wasn't released to the public , but Leto's character knowing Deke is following him drives to that location and parks up , that's the detail which made me believe Leto's character was guilty .

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yes but he had a police radio at his place, so the day the cops found the body they must have talked about it a lot of that location on the radio

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