KOLKHOZ 014: A BAG OF HAMMERS


An odd tale of misshapen lives, tortured souls and the good in people. This story of discontent illuminates the realization to simply make the best of a situation, and hopefully be given a helping hand along the way.

Jason Ritter and Jake Sandvig (also writer) aptly represent the undeserving though altogether harmless heroes of the modern age, proving to be the educational and societal forgotten. Making a meager living stealing cars from mourners, the pair bypasses the justifiable shame of their lifestyle through the “you guys!! ” manner in which they approach it.

The lighthearted life of questionably petty crime, is soon interrupted with the introduction of 12 year old Kelsey (Chandler Canterbury) and the devastating affects of his spiteful mother, powerfully portrayed by Carrie Preston. The desperation of a jobless, woman alongside the guilt of feeling burdened by her son, Lynette (Preston) runs all roads to escape her situation before finally giving in to the allure of suicide.

Having jilted any attempt to save Kelsey from the negligence of his mother, the irresponsibility of the lovable rogues is swiftly halted in favour of a childhood never granted to them. A cheesy speech follows when breaking the news of his mothers death to Kelsey, though the scene is drastically saved by the underplayed heartbreak from Canterbury.

After initial kindness from both childlike men, Ben (Ritter) breaks their oddly close bond, unwilling to sacrifice the life they hold for the child that has been thrust on them. After mutual soul searching, the human sanctity gained by Ben through a simple hug from a homeless woman enforces the overriding theme of the film, humanity, and brings the pair back together.

Finally in a state of stability and happiness, albeit with two criminal father figures, there seems to be an amicable future for Kelsey, as well as the unfamiliar feeling of being wanted.

In what feels like a somewhat rushed ending, Kelsey is promptly forced into child protection services, projecting for us a montage of his expectations of being part of the ramshackle family that took him in, expectations that never were. However! A mere 11 months down the line Ben and Alan have somehow managed to secure the position of being responsible, law abiding and foster friendly enough for Kelsey to be put back into their care.

Flawed, yes, but who doesn’t secretly want everything to work out anyway. With this kind of story line in our kind of society, its nice for someone to finally get a break.

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