Manifest West – Movie Review
Director: Joe Dietsch, Louie Gibson
Writer: Joe Dietsch, Louie Gibson (Screenplay)
- Annet Mahendru (The Walking Dead World Beyond)
- Michael Cudlitz (Running Scared)
- Tim Heidecker (Vacation)
- Milo Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
- Lexy Kolker (Freaks)
Plot: A coming-of-age story told through the eyes of a young girl whose family spirals out of control after they decide to live off the grid.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Manifest West starts when a family, Alice (Mahendru), Dave (Gibson) and children Riley (Kolker) and Mary relocate. They play to stay in a remote cabin off the grid to help Alice deal with her mental health problems.
As things start to get worse for the family, social services take the children away from the home. Leading to Dave making a drastic decision to keep his family together.
Verdict on Manifest West
Alice is the mother of the home, she has suffered from mental health problems. This has caused the family to move away hoping to relocate to start a calm life. Her problems continue to cause stress on the family, which causes the bigger problems they face.
Dave is a loving husband and devoted father, he sees this as the best chance to keep his family together. His determination to keep his family together causes problems that will only cause bigger strains on their relationships.
Riley is the older of the two children, she looks to adventure more as she learns about the new area. She wants to make friends and by doing so, she learns about the problems her family has been put in.
In the support characters, we get to meet the other locals who welcome the family. They are all happy to meet new people and show the community in the area.
In the performances, Milo Gibson and Annet Mahendru are both great as the parents. They show us how determined they are to keep the family together through the difficult situations they are facing. Young Lexy Kolker shines too, with her role seeing the problems unfold from a mindset that understands what is going wrong.
The story follows a family that is looking to relocate away from the busy world to help control their mother’s mental health problems. It sees them making new friends and starting over fresh, only for the past to come back and haunt them. Leading them down a path that could see them being taken further apart.
This is a powerful drama thriller, it shows how important treatment for problems is. However, it shows how difficult accepting help can be. This takes us down a road where not everything is as smooth as they want it to be. While the eyes of the children show the pain they could put them through. This is a movie that could be compared to ‘Leave No Trace’ and ‘Captain Fantastic’ with the idea of a family wanting to stay together no matter what.
Final Thoughts – Manifest West is a powerful drama with an important message.