“In this home … We do second chances. We do real, do mistakes, do I’m sorrys, do loud really well, do hugs and do together best of all.”a homebody.
“Home” is such a warm word, that immediately provides people with a sense of belonging. In a similar way, the movie Home is a warm story that speaks of (and to) a simple, modestly stable family. It is definitely one of the more recent close-to-the-heart heartwarming movies in Malayalam cinema. The kind of movie we desperately needed carrying our pandemic baggage.
Home is about a father who loves his family very much. Oliver Twist (Indrans), is a man from the older generation who is not well-versed in how to handle social media. But that doesn’t stop him from trying to renew his bond with his sons in this digital era. It is a bittersweet story of how a parent has to do so much just to get a glimpse of affection from their children. The name Oliver Twist itself carries the theme of pathos, but with a light-hearted touch cut out for today’s OTT platforms.
Home is an experience
The movie follows moments spread over a few weeks of Oliver with his son Anthony (Sreenath Bhasi). Anthony is a rising director with a successful debut film. But he is struggling for his next movie’s story while under an ultimatum from his producer. So he has returned home to finish his work. Oliver is very proud of his son and boasts to everyone about his work. He tries to bond with his son who doesn’t even try to make a conversation with him. When he sees his son always with his phone, he goes out of his way, purchases a smartphone, and tries to be on social media. He struggles at first but slowly learns to use it. Yet, instead of getting close to his son the venture distances him further from him. The irony here is the son himself needs his real “home” to work on stagnating professional work.
It is astonishing that the father figure doesn’t even get angry at his son despite him being disrespectful. He is sweet and forgiving throughout the whole movie, which may color him in our perception as not being that great success as a father, for not being more strict with his children. But it is just the typical Oliver: kind and benevolent.
The movie offers well-meaning, semi-old fashioned “home lessons” to the younger generations who are trapped inside a small box: the smartphone. As humans move forward in rapid strides, the human bonds are lagging behind. The digital era is a boon but also a curse. It makes everything easy but also unravels human kinship and family. Oliver is just one of the many fathers who is trying their best to make the family not fall apart at the seams, to preserve what really holds that unit together.
Home teaches us to hold our parents close while there is still time, to see the non-transactional value they possess in our life. It shows us how we – the younger audience – frequently behave in lieu of being joined to our phones. How we spend our time just chatting and scrolling away in facile interactions, without holding actual conversations. In fact, how it makes us moody and walking time-bombs ready to explode at a moment’s notice – precisely from that lack of human connection.
Home makes us realize that a home is not just a physical structure but a virtual domain where souls interact with each other. It’s a virtual domain that’s more real, and more connecting than the wider virtual wider-connecting digital zone. What makes a home is a family, otherwise it is just a lifeless building of concrete bricks and cement. We the young have to realize that – the sooner the better – lest we regret it later.