Director: Rojin Thomas
Cast: Indrans, Manju Pillai, Sreenath Bhasi, Naslen K. Gafoor, Kainakari Thankaraj
There is a novelty in Rojin Thomas’ Malayalam work, #Home, which is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. People are named after English literary characters, such as Oliver Twist, while his brother Peter Pan and sister, Mary Poppins! We don’t see the last two; we only hear about it from Mr. Twist, a man in his sixties, played by the extraordinarily remarkable Indrans (remember him in Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Pinneyum? Of course, he has appeared in countless films since then).
In #Home, he just can’t handle technology, not even a smartphone, and while listing the benefits of being tech-savvy, the film also underscores how cell phones, for example, have taken the spirit and soul of social interaction. But Twist evolves to master a smartphone – first to the amusement and later to the amazement of his two sons, Antony (Sreenath Bhasi) and Charles (Naslen K Gafoor).
While Twist’s story is topped with a nice twist and a bit of humor, the subplots about Antony and others are pretty much over. He is a film director who returns home to his parents after a flashy debut in the hope that he can get over his writer’s block. However, his constant arguments with his fiancée, Priya, create obstacles and he keeps missing deadline after deadline to submit his story and script. Added to this is his problem with his bank over EMI payments. Fragments about his younger brother, Charles, seem silly at best.
Also, Twist’s visit for psychiatric evaluation and his continued disappointment with Antony, combined with his own failure in the cassette business, add to an already overcrowded canvas. The story is stretched to 160 minutes and all seems diluted. Halfway through the film, the core of Twist’s technological challenges is almost forgotten!
#Home has little to offer, except Indrans’ excellent acting. Really disappointing compared to Thomas’ 2015 Manju Warrier starrer Joe and the Boy which won two Kerala State awards.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran is a film critic and author of a biography of Adoor Gopalakrishnan.)
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