Two Ways Home released on 29th December 2020 on Video On Demand. Directed by Ron Vignone and written by Richard Schinnow, the 92-minute-long film stars Tanna Frederick, Tom Bower, Rylie Behr, Joel West, Kim Grimaldi, and Richard Maynard alongside other cast members.
Mental Illness and Kathy
Two Ways Home revolves around the life of Kathy (Tanna Frederick), a woman newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, who is also a mother. She is released from prison on good behaviour after she was sentenced due to an attempted robbery and returns to her country home in Iowa to reconnect with her family, especially her estranged 12-year-old daughter Cori (Rylie Behr) and her elderly grandfather Walter (Tom Bower). But upon her return, her family is not very welcoming of her and while some might not say that to her face, it is clearly visible in their actions.
As the film progresses, we see Kathy’s journey to reconcile with her family and exist like a whole again, all the while dealing with hostile relatives and a doubtful husband. Will Kathy survive this or will she quit and leave or self-harm? Will she ever be able to convince her own daughter and family that she is fine and taking care of herself? Will they ever accept her as normal?
Mental health is one of the most prevalent topics of our times but somehow our ever-changing and evolving society, which is advancing in almost every other aspect, still fails to make its peace with it and accept individuals with mental illness as normal human beings. Their conditions are stigmatized and they are looked down on as inferior people. Therefore, the issue has found its place in every aspect of our life from our literature to our entertainment as people try to spread awareness about the same. But still, we are far from accepting.
Two Ways Home, if seen in comparison to other movies on the same topic, might seem a bit underdeveloped or underwhelming but if you see it for what is and how the makers try to show the journey of an individual battling herself and her beloveds in a small town, the film is brilliant. The movie is not hard-hitting or a social commentary of any sort and in my opinion, it doesn’t even try to be that but rather, it is simple and is around self-healing and moving on to a better future for yourself no matter how cruel the past might have been.
The film talks about BPD and PTSD, driving viewers’ attention to the importance of mental wellness and not just physical wellness. Ron Vignone here has done great work with respect to the cast of the movie. Tanna Frederick as Kathy is bold and fierce yet vulnerable, determined yet scared, unapologetic yet sensitive. All these characteristics are brought on-screen by her with perfection, and people suffering might as well relate to her character.
As grandfather Walt, Tom Bower contributes incredible credibility through his character. It’s not flamboyant; it’s finer than that. It is truthful in its approach – to remember those who are engaged in and affected by mental illness, to know the ripple effects are far and large and affects everyone around sometimes. It also adds to the knowledge that everyone needs to be more aware and can only be informed through a continued effort and only if they care.
Overall, Two Ways Home is not just an awareness film but it is also heartwarming and beautiful. The cast here does amazing work and every aspect of it fits, ranging from locations to people to the screenplay. Through this film, the director has brought his vision and has attempted to educate folks on a matter as sensitive and important as mental health without showing extreme treatment centres or doctors, but rather, by showing the simpler and inter-personal conflicts of people.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Two Ways Home is a movie that you can watch more than once. The subject matter, direction, location, and cast stand strong throughout the 92 minutes and it’s worth your time.
Two Ways Home is now available on Video on Demand.
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