Flight of the Peanut Butter Falcon

The Peanut Butter Falcon is a movie about a young adult seeking his dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. On his journey, he meets a shady character and they develop a fantastic relationship as they both seek to change their futures.

A loving movie about a kid with Down syndrome, his journey and finding a new family – simply fantastic.

Shia LeBeouf delivered an excellent performance in The Peanut Butter Falcon. I’ve always enjoyed his acting and many of the movies he’s delivered, but I’ve also witnessed his slight strange behaviors off-screen. He’s perhaps not an Oscar-worthy actor, but that should not take away his excellent career and the many movies that he has been in.

I don’t really blame him for these oddities. It comes with the territory when you are surrounded by people who succumb to your demands, and their only responses are “YES”. People who work for celebrities are doing one thing wrong, they are saying ‘yes’ all the time. They never question the requests or ideas, despite how outlandish they might sound.

If you always get what you want, you will in turn into a slightly odd person!

Shia shines in this movie with Zack. It is quite clear that a deep relationship developed between the three lead characters Dakota, Zack, and Shia. Zack’s positive attitude and perspective have made both Shia and Dakota better people – or at least I like to think that.

An unlikely bond was formed – love like brothers

In interviews with Shia after the movie was released, you could easily see a difference in Shia’s emotions, attitude and general interactions. Something had changed. For the better.

Zack, the main character, is born with Down syndrome. That does not hold him back from delivering a great movie performance. In real life, Zack wants to pursue a wrestling career, and this movie is a depiction of his journey. Dramatized a bit of course for the silver screen.

The movie and the journey are created by two super directors who saw the potential in Zack and his story. They did not question or hesitate. It is a heartwarming story that needed to be told.

As a parent of a child with Down Syndrome, I often dream of my son being able to live independently. Independently meaning able to communicate and express his intentions. And, have someone like Shia’s character who can look after him and ensure that he gets treated well.

Just because one has a disability does not mean they are not capable of communicating. Special people should have the opportunity to enjoy life without being put in a protective home with no interaction with the outside world. I fear what the future might hold for our son when we are no longer able to care for him.

It is emotional to see such great movies, where a person with a disability is leading the cast, and see how well he speaks, acts, interacts, and portrays people with Down Syndrome. It is inspirational for parents, and it should inspire others to be more understanding. The danger, however, is that we compare our son to the performance of Zack.

We badly want our son to speak and be a lot more independent. I saddens me to think that we will never have conversations with him. We live in hope that one day he will release his inner peanut butter falcon, and chat away.

As I previously shared, my son is non-verbal and requires supervision and support. It is a lot of work for the family. We constantly have to make sure the school is supporting his needs as outlined in his IEP. If we do not engage him at home, he will happily watch movies all day.

I try to get him involved with cooking and baking, but he is more interested in eating the finished products. Who could blame him?

Our journey continues. He is not a burden, but a joy to our family. The smiles and affection he shows are priceless. The love he has for his sisters makes me teary.

He might not be the Peanut Butter Falcon, but he is our Po (kung fu panda) – a cheerful, food-loving kind young man. It is a blessing to have him in our lives.

Thank you, Zack, Shia and Dakota for making this movie, and bringing a positive inspiration and perspective on people with Down Syndrome.

A huge shout out to the two amazing directors, for having the guts to do this movie; Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz.

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