What makes the new Rojin Thomas movie #Home a very pleasing and heartwarming family drama is the relatability factor. I am not saying it’s a perfect movie by all means. Because there is a pattern to the screenplay and mild spoiler alert, you can sense a similarity with the M Mohanan movie Kadha Parayumbol in its totality. But with content that feels updated and relevant, #Home becomes a heartfelt movie, and with Indrans delivering a brilliant and minimal portrayal of an insecure father, #Home is perhaps the kind of feel-good movie we all want to see during these testing times.
Oliver Twist, a middle-aged man, is our central protagonist. He has two sons. One of them is a movie director who is struggling to finish the script of his second movie. The second one is a college-going student and the owner of a failed YouTube channel. His wife is a retired nurse, and his father is also living with the family. Smartphones and technological advancements aren’t easy for Oliver to grasp. But he has that curiosity in him to learn all that and be updated like others. In the movie #Home, we see this man’s efforts to learn all that and what all troubles he had to go through in that process.
When you read that synopsis, or even if you watch the trailer of the movie, you may get this feeling that it’s about the ignorance of the elderly people about smartphones and stuff. But what I felt good about the movie #Home is the fact that Rojin gradually changes the focus to the loneliness the previous generation faces due to their lack of speed in understanding technology. We all know those uncles and aunts who talk loudly over phone calls, whose excitement on seeing certain features becomes an embarrassment for us, who sends fake news in family groups, etc. And we also know the truth that we haven’t really given our time to teach them how to use these things responsibly. The preachy feel is there for sure in the treatment, but it is somewhat minimal.
Like his previous movies, Rojin Thomas uses these color-rich visuals to present his world. Where he succeeds as a writer is in finding the nuances of a family equation. Be it the annoyingly screaming younger son or that teary-eyed smile of the mother after yelling at him, there are many moments in this film that make it a relatable story. All of us may not have a parent like Oliver Twist, who has an extraordinary story in the past. But we can all see some shades of us or our parents in this family drama. The movie is 162 minutes long, and somewhere I feel it could have been a bit tidier. Neil D Cunha’s cinematography captures the drama effectively and maintains the visual glossiness common in Rojin’s movies.
The performances are undeniably what makes #Home really endearing for the viewer, and the captain of that ship is Mr. Indrans. Internalizing the pain of a man who sees disregard for him at many places is not an easy thing to portray. In expressing happiness, sadness, or the occasional outburst of anger, Indrans never makes Oliver Twist a gimmicky character. The scene where he walks towards the gate and the moment when he realizes the surprise is not for him etc., were instances where we would feel for that character. Sreenath Bhasi as the elder son is in his typical style here, and the attitude suites that character. Naslen isn’t that consistent, but there are moments where he is hilarious. Manju Pillai should be appreciated for not overdoing a character that is written as a comically loud character. Johny Antony gets a memorable role that feels like an extension of his role from Varane Avashyamundu. Karikku fame Deepa Thomas made her debut as a female lead in this movie and was fine with her performance. Vijay Babu, Anoop Menon, Kainakary Thankaraj, and a few more names are there in the long list of actors featured in the movie.
Home is a movie that we perhaps wish to see at a time like this as it has a sense of practical optimism. One can surely sense a formula in the scripting, but the formula has been applied here in a way that you won’t feel distracted. Rojin Thomas, who co-directed Philips and the Monkey Pen, goes back to the same zone of storytelling, and this time he has handled the melodrama more maturely. And with that endearing smile and honesty in performance, I think the performance of Indrans alone is enough to make you recommend this movie to someone.
With that endearing smile and honesty in performance, I think the performance of Indrans alone is enough to make you recommend this movie to someone.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended