Home movie review: A great story and good performances held back by a bloated screenplay and bad choices
#Home is a family-drama movie directed by Rojin Thomas and stars Indrans in the lead as Oliver Twist, a middle-aged man living with his wife Kuttiyamma played by Manju Pillai, his aligning father (Kainakary Thankaraj), and younger son Charles (Nalsen K.Gafoor). The movie follows Oliver's difficulty in communicating with his oldest son Anthony (Sreenath Bhasi), a director who moves back home to finish his new script after a severe case of writer's block.
Family dramas often tend to lean on melodrama in order to connect with the audience. While this can be tolerated, especially if you have a good enough story and build-up, #Home has a good story, great acting and a relevant topic that the audience can relate to. It deals with subjects like growing old, anxiety, and the growing technological gap between generations and these are the movie's strengths.
Having said that what the movie lacks is polish. With a run time of 2 hours and 40 minutes, the movie is way too bloated which could have easily been cut down. However, this is not the main issue I have with the movie, which is the director's overuse of background music. Almost every emotional scene is filled with the most cliched music you can imagine. At times this movie feels like one of those motivational videos on Youtube while it works there on screen it gets annoying. I know the music director is in charge of the background music but the ultimate authority lies with the director.
Perhaps director Rojin Thomas lacks faith in his writing or thinks the audience won't understand that a character in his movie is sad unless there is a loud orchestral soundtrack to go along with it, either way it hurts the movie. #Home is not the only movie that uses music as a crutch to carry "emotional impact" but this trend is something filmmakers should stop using as it hurts those moments in the movie where the music could have elevated the performances on the screen.
Another issue is how if any character enters a room that has a motivational poster, this movie has a lot of those, the camera lingers on a particular quote as if to wink to the audience and say this is what the director intends. This falls flat because this "wink to the audience" feels more like a sports fan painting his face with his team's colors.
Now, if you feel like I am being too harsh it is because when this movie is subtle and relies on its performances and writing it is something really special. The acting on display especially by Indrans is spectacular. The way he effortlessly switches back and forth between dramatic elements and his comedic roots is always a treat to watch, as a matter of fact, some of his comedic scenes reminded me of how he became a household name in Kerala. Manju Pillai as the matriarch of the family carries her role well and I hope she gets to be in more movies soon, she has great chemistry with the entire cast.
Sreenath Bhasi manages to give a solid performance and manages to carry off the role of the troubled son without ever coming out as over the top or annoying. And finally, Nalsen K.Gafoor as the funny younger brother shows a lot of promise.
So, #Home is a movie that could have been great but is held back by a bloated screenplay and bad choices made by its filmmaker.