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‘Little Wing’ Soars To New Heights As A Coming-Of-Age Tale

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Grief and angst can come in different forms and it can be inspired by varying circumstances. Sometimes, it can be the fatal loss of someone we love. Other times, it can be a torn family that brings unwanted but much needed changes. None of these things are difficult, and even more so, they can be challenging for young people. And yet, it’s extremely common to see young kids and teenagers grow up in circumstances beyond their control. But it’s how we support one another as a community and how we work to lift each other up that matters in the end. Such ideas and themes are explored in the new film from Paramount+ and Awesomeness TV, Little Wing, which is coming soon to streaming on March 13.

Little Wing is a coming-of-age story centered around Kaitlyn McKay, an angsty and troubled teenager in middle school whose parents are going through a divorce. Meanwhile, her home is on the verge of being sold and her ability to cope with the situation is completely hindered. But when Kaitlyn is gifted two racing pigeons by a family friend, her life and her world perspective is forever changed as she is suddenly thrust into the world of pigeon racing. The film is directed by Dean Israelite and written by John Gatins. It also stars Brooklynn Prince, Brian Cox, Kelly Reilly, Che Tafari, Simon Khan, and Trinity Jo-Li Bliss.

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Brooklynn Prince as Kaitlyn in Little Wing, streaming on Paramount+, 2024. Photo Credit: Alysson Riggs/Paramount+.

What you may not know is that this film is based on an article written by Susan Orlean for The New Yorker. The article discusses a story similar to the film’s plot about a young girl she noticed who was herding pigeons. While the young girl raises the pigeons, it is a middle-aged man in the community who races pigeons in New Jersey. The title also takes inspiration from the Joni Hendrix song, “Little Wing” which is also the title of Orlean’s article. However, the film takes its inspiration and adds layers upon layers of thematic elements that create a story fit for any teenage girl trying to find their way.

No one will deny the difficulty of watching one’s parents drift apart until they get to the stage of divorce, especially at such a young age. But when impulsive decisions are involved and the meaning of life arises, it’s also not surprising to see young teens contemplate the purpose of their own existence. This is a theme heavily explored throughout the course of the movie, particularly when our Kaitlyn (Brooklynn Prince) crosses paths with Jaan Vari (Brian Cox), a bird enthusiast who raises and races pigeons. With Jaan’s age catching up to him and Kaitlyn still just beginning to live her life, the two strike up an unlikely friendship that gives one another purpose. After all, sometimes it is the most unlikely people in our lives that give us the courage to keep going and find happiness in even the smallest things.

L-R Brian Cox as Jaan and Brooklynn Prince as Kaitlyn in Little Wing, streaming on Paramount+, 2024. Photo Credit: Alysson Riggs/Paramount+.

Being so young, Brooklynn Prince captures the exact nature of youth today and the spirit of how young people have always been. The angst, the “me against the world” attitude, and the uncertainty is all there. Prince not only speaks as eloquently as a young teen would, which is to say not at all eloquently. But she also presents the character of Kaitlyn exactly how the audience should see her. She can be unlikable at times, but worthy of sympathy given her circumstances that no one should really have to go through. There is redemption through honesty, and courage found in Kaitlyn’s character that allows her to find life within a new passion. 

Brian Cox is no stranger to portraying cranky old men as we saw in the HBO drama series, Succession. But in Little Wing, Cox takes a slightly different approach, where he maintains a cranky attitude while also being a guiding light. Through him, we get to see the world of pigeon racing but we are introduced to one major lesson: “Life is sweet.”

Brooklynn Prince as Kaitlyn in Little Wing, streaming on Paramount+, 2024. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures/Paramount+.

Little Wing is as short and sweet as its main message. It doesn’t quite have the biggest moments to show off nor does it overwhelm us with music and swelling scores. In fact, it’s a rather quiet film that may not capture the viewer’s attention right away. But while Little Wing may go under the radar for most people, it can certainly be seen as one of those movies that young teens need to see. Not only is there a demonstration of the way we cope with circumstances out of our control, but it also portrays the beginning, loss, rekindling, and growth of friendships. So, if you’re looking for a short, comforting movie that will make you want to relive your teenage feelings, be sure to watch Little Wing.

 Samosa Rating:  

Little Wing receives 4 out of 5 Samosas.

Little Wing is available to stream on Paramount+ on March 13.
Runtime: 1h 39m

If you want even more film discussions, reviews, or just some good old recommendations, be sure to follow @samosasandpopcorn on TikTok!

Pooja Chand
Pooja Chand
Known on other platforms as Samosas and Popcorn, Pooja is a movie enthusiast topped with sprinkles of her love for TV. She can typically be found watching anything from the latest blockbuster movie to a feel good anime, and is always ready to start the discussion on movies and TV so you don't have to.

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