Harrowing and unforgettable by equal measure, Lean on Pete shows the how fragile our lives are.
A young teen, Charley, lives in Oregon with his dad, a man who seems unable to keep a job or sustain a relationship.
Charley gets a job, training racehorses and becomes particularly attached to one called ‘Lean on Pete’, who it seems is heading for the knackers yard owing to his poor form.
When his father gets into a fight that ends with him being thrown through the window of their home things quickly escalate into a full-blown tragedy that leaves Charley homeless and clinging on to the faint hope that he can live with his Aunt who is somewhere out in Wyoming though he’s not sure where.
Charlie and the broken racehorse then set out on an epic journey across the western states as he attempts to find his Aunt and get the home he has never really known.
Along the way, he meets violence and pain as he comes across the cruel and broken who have little choice but to put up with the misery of their lives.
One woman, hugely overweight and continuously abused by her father, when questioned by Charley as to why she puts up with it makes the point that sometimes in life we don’t have any other options, and there is no other place for us to go.
All it takes is one act of kindness to reverse the fortunes of a person in need, and this is what the film searches, almost yearns for,
Even when we think there may be a happy ending we can not but look back on what we have seen and realize that at any moment this potential happiness may be taken away by fate and the simple lack of love in this world.
Part road movie, part coming of age story, the film cleverly subverts the expectations of either to create something that lives in the memory, and in the heart.