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Non-Review Review: Let Him Go

Any plot summary of Let Him Go inevitably does the film a disservice.

After all, the basic narrative of Let Him Go invites comparisons to the “da’ction” genre that was popularised by Taken. (In fact, Honest Thief is in cinemas at the moment, proving that even the pandemic cannot kill the Liam Neeson midlife action film.) At its core, Let Him Go is a story about an older couple who embark on a journey to rescue their lost daughter-in-law and their grandson from an increasingly ominous set of circumstances. It becomes obvious as the film progresses that George and Margaret are mounting a rescue mission in hostile territory.

Peak Da’ction? (Or “Dad-ction”, for our American readers?)

In reality, Thomas Bezucha’s film is a much more meditative and contemplative affair than that description suggests. Let Him Go offers a quiet and introspective character study of an elderly couple venturing through the wilds of the American heartland, navigating their shared grief offer the loss of their son in a freak accident as much as their anxieties around the possible fate of their grandson. Much of Let Him Go consists of George and Margaret trying to navigate a strange world, but also one another.

The results are compelling. Let Him Go features flashes of violence and brutality, but it works best as something of a mood piece. It’s a melancholy reflection on a warped and hostile landscape, playing as an update on the classic western template for the modern era.

Bucking the trend.

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