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Let Him Go is Kevin Costner’s Troubled Try At Twilight Tears

Let Him Go(Amazon Prime)

Starring Kevin Costner, Diane Lane

Directed  by  Thomas Bezucha

Rating: ** ½

Watching a matinee idol turn old in front of our eyes is  a heartbreaking  experience.I remember  when Robert Redford  returned  with Jane Fonda in Ritesh Batra’s All Souls In  The Night, Ms Fonda had opined that great movie stars shouldn’t come back.Kevin Costner’s  return with his  Man Of Steel  co-star Diane Lane is  not  so  heartbreaking, firstly because  this is  not a  film that   is rooted to diehard realism although  initially it pretends to be.

 There is  a whole lot of family emotions  in  the early stages  of the presentation.  But the overall  impression  I came  away with is  that  of  a  film that goesfiercely formulistic  in the  endeavour to manufacture a mass-oriented climax.

 To begin with, it’s  a moving story  of an autumnal couple George  and  Margaret whose  son  dies in a freak accident and whose only grandson  is taken away from them  when their daughter-in-law remarries and disappears with her predictably inappropriate  new husband .

This is a strong powerful drama  about humanism  and legal ownership. Sadly the  plot turns  progressively preposterous  and  what I  was left watching was  a Gothic rescue drama  where the  little grandson has to be  snatched away from  an evil family  overseered  by  a monstrous  matriarch played with  a witch’s  crackle by veteran  actress  Leslie Manville who for  the first time hams  as  if there  is no tomorrow.

 There is a  dreadful sense  of  downward-spiralling in the storytelling.  It starts  off  with restrain dignity and pathos and  then moves into  pulp  gear, abandoning all  pretensions to being a story  of a grieving couple’s  efforts to set things right. There are  bloodied  confrontations including an hand being chopped  off by an axe and a raging fire  at  the end that envelopes  much more than just the evil characters .

One of the  evil brood offers that  Margaret stay back and  he will send her  to her husband  later.

“The  only thing is, you may  not  want to go  back,” he  adds lecherously.

Eeew to that.

Watching  the  narrative  plunge  to  puerility so  passionately is almost like seeing the  plot  gone  from frying pan   to the  pot to the potty. Moreover, Costner and Lane  have lopsided  roles.  She takes centrestage , initiates  the  search for their grandchild and  refuses  to  give up  the  search even when they encounter the most evil family on earth since the Mansons.
It’s not all  so awful, though. Throughout there are scatterings of sensitivity drowned in what can  only be called a pounding pulp sensation which screams, ‘Don’t  Go Away’ instead  of ‘Let Him Go’.

We are  with the  film till the  end . But only  out  of  respect for the  lead actors. Costner and Lane are  the combined  reason to keep watching this plot go up in flames, although Lane somehow  lacks  the tragic grandeur  required  of  the character, at least initially when  the world is not so cheesy.

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