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Review: '#Homecoming' Fails to Rise Above Its Mediocrity
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Review: '#Homecoming' Fails to Rise Above Its Mediocrity

#Homecoming is streaming on Sony Liv.

Updated
Movie Reviews
4 min read

#Homecoming

Review: '#Homecoming' Fails to Rise Above Its Mediocrity

When it comes to stories of friendship, there's often a warmth associated with them. Over the years, different choices take people different ways, and sometimes a chance reunion brings back all the fond memories. Soumyajit Majumdar's debut movie #Homecoming, unfolding in Hindi, English and Bengali, is one such tale of friendship, but there is simply no depth to the film.

A group of friends get together after seven years during Durga Pujo. Their shared love for theatre brought them together, and they formed a group in college named Amra (We). This young group redefined the theatre scene in Kolkata, and their performances were much appreciated. But when they meet, things have changed. Everyone has branched out. Some have moved to different cities, one is struggling with his corporate job in San Francisco, but a few others have stayed on, trying to pick up the pieces of the past.

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The bittersweet reunion takes place at their old rehearsal space, a grand old bungalow owned by one of the friends Godot (Soham Majumdar). Godot's father and uncle plan on converting the house into a heritage hotel, and suddenly the best years of their lives have come under the hammer. A number of mini-stories form a part of this larger story.

As the night progresses, the layers start to peel off and grievances are addressed. However, the plot is so weak and the characters so cliched that it's impossible to make out what Majumdar actually wants to relate.

Papai (Subhra Sourav Das) and Shubho (Tushar Pandey) have taken to the bottle. They refuse to let go of the past, clinging to the remains of 'Amra'. Shubho tried his hands at acting, even delivering some hit performances, but quickly retreated to his own shell. Throughout #Homecoming, he is seen either drinking his brains out or smoking up. He and Roopie (Tuhina Das) share a special bond, but both characters are so half-baked that their story goes nowhere. Roopie identifies as queer, and they are yet another caricaturish addition to the movie that's extremely pretentious.

Papai and the other secondary characters are just there to get drunk, smash bottles, mutter abuses and recite poetry that is just... sad.

Plabita Borthakur in #Homecoming.

(Photo Courtesy: Sony Liv)

We are given a glimpse of Sri (Sayani Gupta) and Imroze's (Hussain Dalal) relationship. The duo broke up after college, but the wounds are still raw. Imroze is a musician in Mumbai, but the city has failed to inspire him. Kolkata, to him, is synonymous to the theatre group and Sri. Sri, on the other hand, is being strangled by the ugly tentacles of the film industry. A short moment between them opening up to each other after a long time is the only saving grace of the movie.

There's another character Nargis (Plabita Borthakur), an outsider who performs slam poetry (eyeroll) and totally stumps us with a hilariously bad piece towards the end. She hails from Bombay, and it takes her a mere couple of days to fall in love with Kolkata.

Majumdar tries to touch upon the miserable condition of theatre in the city. Shubho tells in the movie, "The people of Kolkata don't hesitate to blow money at fancy restaurants, but when it comes to plays they are always grumbling about the over-priced tickets". A city that boasted of a thriving theatre scene at one time, it's a tragedy to see the medium fading into oblivion. With this aspect too, #Homecoming barely scratches the surface.

The characters often ruminate about the commodification of art, the relationship of an artist with his art and the culture of mediocrity that's engulfing all of us. But even with these lofty thoughts, the film feels hollow because the plot has nothing to offer.

Almost every character is described with hashtags. For instance, Sri is "#Indie_Heroine", Imroze "#Canteen_Rockstar", Subho "#Crazy_Heart". This is also laughable because rather than exposing their quirks, the director adds to the caricature.

#Homecoming exploits Bengalis' reputation as disapproving intellectuals, but it takes a harsh and condescending tone to put its point across. The characters are more interested in looking down on the others rather than sitting down and having heart-to-heart conversations. Even the climax exists to just shove the sadness on our faces, rather than explore the emotions the central characters are going through.

#Homecoming doesn't try to rise above its mediocrity. Time and again we are reminded of the great plays that 'Amra' would stage, but we aren't even shown a performance by this very 'talented' group. After 90 odd minutes, the film succeeds in doing one thing - making us feel nothing.

#Homecoming is streaming on SonyLiv.

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