Review: ‘Home’: Relatable and Moving, the Series Manages to Strike a Chord
Note: This is a review of first 3 episodes of Home.
Alt Balaji’s new web series Home is a fairly simple story and yet the impact it leaves on you is what makes it special. Home revolves around the life of the Sethis, a middle-class family, which decides to fight the city’s municipal authorities when they are issued a notice to vacate their residence because their apartment has been deemed as an “illegal construction” owing to certain lapses by the builder.
Home, starring, Annu Kapoor, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Amol Parashar, Chetna Pandey, and Parikshit Sahni is an emotionally driven story that will leave you wanting more at the end of every episode, mostly thanks to the powerful scenes and excellent dialogue-delivery by its main actors.
Director Habib Faisal beautifully depicts the struggles of a middle class family. Faisal’s debut film Do Dooni Char, had a story that was built along the same lines.
The series Home claims to be based on real-life events and is reportedly inspired by the Campa Cola Compound Case, where residents of an apartment were forced to vacate their homes in a similar situation.
Who Are the Sethis?
The Sethis are like any other typical middle class family. Faisal adopts with the oft-repeated ‘thoda hai thode ki zaroorat hai...’ template here. A family of five, the Sethis have their own little quarrels but at the end of the day, they stand united against all the troubles that they encounter.
The family is headed by Dadu, played by Brij Sethi (Parikshit Sahni), who is a lawyer by profession and is (obviously) a little old-school. His son, Himansh Sethi (Annu Kapoor) works at Travilon, after his travel agency failed to flourish because of some wrong business decisions. Meanwhile, his wife Vandana (Supriya Pilgaonkar) has started her own ‘dabba’ service to provide an extra source of income for the family. The couple has two children - Vansh (Amol Parashar), who has just graduated from school and now aims to pursue MBA in London and his elder sibling Hina (Chetna Pande), who is going through a failed marriage.
Almost Everything Seems Relatable
One of Home’s strongest points is its relatability factor. While watching it, you will find many scenes that give you a feeling of déjà vu. You can’t help but recall a similar conversation, fight or incident that happened within your family. For instance, in the first episode, Mrs Sethi complains about a broken lock and asks her husband to call the carpenter to which Mr Sethi replies that he can fix it himself with just a little bit of oil. Remember a similar exchange in your family?
As the Sethis juggle around their daily woes and interpersonal issues, they are suddenly faced with a much bigger and important problem. While Parikshit Sahani is arguing in the court about receiving water bills despite not getting any water supply in their Kala Kruti colony, another revelation comes to light - the entire complex itself is unauthorised. Following this, the judge issues a demolition notice. We already have a hint of what happens next, as the whole series runs in a flashback.
Not the Typical Soap Opera
The tagline Home- It’s a Feeling, says it all. The show is a welcome change from the usual soap operas that are seen on television. Without making the plot and twists very dramatic, Habib Faisal has beautifully portrayed every character and the relationship they share with each other. The story develops in such a way that we discover more about each character with every passing episode. Thankfully, there are no over-the-top, melodramatic expressions or scenes with booming soundtracks, that we have come to expect from usual Balaji TV shows. Alt Balaji seems to be consciously catering to a different audience here.
For example, rather than just show the existence of a generation gap among the Sethis for the sake of it, the writing engages you in meaningful conversations between the three generations, illustrating how these differences exist very naturally. While some such scenes make you emotional and teary-eyed, others make you laugh a little. Take this one for example: ‘Hamare zamane mein revolution Facebook aur Twitter par nahi laye jaate thhe!’.
Supriya Pilgaonkar At Her Best
Even though all the actors who feature in Home do justice to their roles, Supriya Pilgaonkar steals the show. She perfectly fits into the role of the brave and resolute woman that this family needs in their time of financial hardship and emotional turmoil. In the second episode, we get to know that she might have the risk of breast cancer as well. Even though her character tries to put on a brave face in front of the family, the scene in which she is seen crying alone in the kitchen tugs at your heart.
The chemistry between Supriya Pilgaonkar and Annu Kapoor is another highlight of Home. The way their characters stick to each other despite all odds makes for couple goals.
From apologising to the municipality to setting up a meeting with the local MLA, the Sethis along with other members of the society try every possible way to find a solution and to stop their home from being demolished. But, the big question remains, will the Sethi family be able to protect their home from being permanently wrecked? I’ll be binge watching to find out.