The unsettling scenes during the 1960s in North Dakota and Montana makes Let Him Go stand out as a film that shows how far families will go to protect the ones they love. This film is triumphant and touching, and the suspenseful moments left me with deep, mixed emotions. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane deliver knockout performances. They demonstrate resilient attitudes with no fear in their efforts to save their grandson from a dangerous life they do not him to endure. The key question they face on their journey is just how dangerous?
In Let Him Go, Costner and Lane play George and Margaret Blackledge who have a son that died. They are left with their daughter-in-law, Lorna (played by Kayli Carter), who marries Donnie Weboy (played by Will Brittain) shortly after the death of her husband. Margaret realizes from a distance that Donnie abuses Lorna and her young boy. Once they try to be more in touch to ensure the safety of their daughter-in-law and grandson, they are informed that Donnie has taken them both to Montana to be near the rest of the Weboy family. This action prompts George and Margaret to travel to Montana to get their grandson back and try to help Margaret take the right steps to get out of her abusive relationship. Infinitely, they soon learn that the Weboy family are all insane and dangerous.
The element that I found the most intriguing in the film was how little music was used to create tension and suspense. Instead, the director relied on the scenery and conversations to heighten the conflict involving George and Margaret trying to find safety for Lorna and their grandson. This is amplified with harrowing moments when George and Margaret realize that Blanche Weboy (played by Lesley Manville), Bill Weboy (played by Jeffrey Donovan), Marvin Weboy (played by Adam Stafford), and Elton Weboy (played by Connor Mackay) are all encouraging Donnie’s abusive and manipulative behavior almost as though it’s mandatory. The manipulative dynamics of the Weboy family cause the film to take a different turn as George and Margaret must figure out how to put an end to the abuse of Lorna and her son. The Weboy’s possess big egos and violent backgrounds which result in a dangerous situation that is almost impossible to change.
The harsh family dynamic within the Weboy clan is where the evil lies. No matter how civilized George and Margaret try to be with this crazy family, the Weboy’s continue to do more damage. I found those moments in the film to be attention-grabbing, because most film’s like this are somewhat predictable. However, Let Him Go is not as predictable as many would assume. The violence and unexpected brushes with danger have answers that are haunting and not what viewers would expect. It leads the audience on a trail of questions, and I felt like I was putting together a puzzle of who may or may not survive.
Will George and Margaret be able to ensure their daughter-in-law and grandson can get out of this dynamic of danger? Can they overcome this insane family and manipulative behavior? Or can George, Margaret, and Lorna prove the Weboy’s wrong? The answers to all these questions are eventually revealed in Let Him Go. Some may leave the film disturbed by how things turn out, and some may be relieved. However, it is a worthy film of how families care enough to protect ones they love. Three and a half stars.