“Finders Keepers” Movie Review
Real life is often stranger than fiction. If you wrote a fictional story similar to the touching and amusing documentary “Finders Keepers,” it would be rejected as being too far-fetched. Local “swap-meet king” Shannon Whisnant, buys a small bar-b-que grill at one of those storage locker auctions. Whisnant takes the grill home and opens it to discover an amputated leg that has been somewhat preserved. Mortified, Whisnant calls the local police, and they start an investigation. The story becomes a national news event and suddenly Whisnant, who has always dreamed of being in the spotlight, becomes famous.
We soon find out that there is a reason that the lower leg was in the grill. It belongs to John Wood, who lost his leg in a small plane accident while he was a teenager. While in the hospital recovering from the crash, he asked the doctors if he could keep his severed leg, and they gave it to him. There is a reason he wants to keep the leg. It’s not a great one, but it makes sense to Wood.
Wood and Whisnant are two very different people that just don’t like each other. Wood grew up in a wealthy family in North Carolina, where he had all the latest toys and gadgets. Whisnant grew up poor in South Carolina, always having to prove himself to his father – the one thing that he shared with Wood. Both men claimed the rights to the leg and are willing to battle in both the press and in court. Will it be the shy Wood, who thinks that it’s his leg, so he should be the rightful owner? Or will it be Whisnant, who thinks that he bought the leg and therefore, it is legally his? Who will be the winner and who will be the loser in this battle over a prize that few people would want to own?
“Finders Keepers” is one of those documentaries that starts out heading in one direction and then surprisingly, midway through the film, it changes going in a totally different direction and tone. I saw this film in a sold out theater and the audience was laughing so hard at the beginning of the film that I couldn’t hear all the narration. It is brilliantly funny. The filmmakers have kept this tone throughout the film but to their credit, the film becomes more about the two men and their struggles in life, and less about the leg and their redneck traits. The film masterfully uses news reports for the background story and then interviews with family and friends to discover the hearts and minds of the two men. The two men bare their souls on the film, making it incredibly moving.
“Finders Keepers” is an amazing film about two damaged men who are filled with humor, heartbreak, and redemption. It’s a movie that displays the hopes and dreams of two men, desperately trying to fulfill their perceived destiny, and the cost it takes to achieve it. The film shows us that one’s life can take unexpected twists, and you just might end up a very different person that who you started as. My Rating: Full Price
My movie rating system from Best to Worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again
“Finders Keepers” is playing exclusively at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
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