- Review: Welcome Home (2019)
- Director: Sumitra Bhave & Sunil Sukthankar
- Star Cast: Mrunal Kulkarni, Sumeet Raghavan, Dr. Mohan Agashe, Uttara Baokar, Spruha Joshi, Siddharth Menon, Deepa Shriram, Prasad Oak, Sarang Sathaye, Irawati Harshe, Jitendra Joshi, Subodh Bhave & child artist: Pranjali Shrikant
- Screenplay: Sumitra Bhave
- Producer: Abhishek Sunil Phadtare, Vinay Bele, Ashwini Sidhwani & Deepak Kumar Bhagat
Quick Viewpoint: Certain films avoid being ‘certain’ in many ways. Welcome Home’s uncertainty is it’s biggest strength. It’s like a breeze of fresh air but air that has a conscience of it’s own.
- The singular most important aspect one needs to address here is how essential good actors are in this film. As usual though in a Bhave-Sukthankar film! These filmmakers use their actors so organically that the whole set up of the film never feels like a set up, it just feels like an actually existing world. Mrunal Kulkarni under Bhave-Sukthankar feels completely at ease, it’s like we always knew there was this intense (at the same time subtle) actor waiting to explode out of her! It won’t be exaggeration to call this her career defining performance!
- Story telling in films usually manipulates the time factor. Sometimes certain films do not skip or jump time as normally most of the films do. They linger over it, they let you go through the suffocated routine of the time passing. Smallest of things are amplified to their actual size in life. It’s like being trapped with those characters in a very specific time frame of their life. All of this results into a very lively experience of human existence & ‘Welcome Home’ does exactly that!
- ‘Welcome Home’ gets deeper into our upper middle class society’s skin. It tries to experiment and find what if so & so happens & our people are made to instantaneously react to it! What if an independent middle aged woman suddenly decides to leave her husband’s house & come back to her previous home (or her parent’s home). The results of this experiment are not really demotivating! While going through this the film stumbles upon it’s main subject of research which is the idea of home! And how does a modern day independent woman explores it.
- Usually ‘coming of age’ is a genre trait that can be spotted in films mainly with teenage protagonists. But here Mrunal Kulkarni’s character comes off age in a very organic and gradual process! And again the time factor let’s us actually understand the process better & how & exactly what triggered the process! One of the main triggers is a charm of character played by Sumeet Raghavan!
- As said earlier uncertainty is Welcome Home’s biggest strength, by uncertainty I do not mean in terms of the narrative and what would happen next in their life, but in terms of what exactly do we interpret from the proceedings. And it’s something that viewers need to experience on their own in a theatre!
- Spruha Joshi though has given a much smoother performance when compared to her recent filmography but the only flaw of the film rests on her little track in the film. Her presence within the ‘home’ is quite essential in the film, but the point film wished to make through the rest of her track doesn’t quite gel in the scheme of things and doesn’t feel essential to the film. Moreover the track had a really irritating song.
Final Verdict: In the rich & diverse filmography of filmmakers Sumitra Bhave & Sunil Sukthankar, ‘Welcome Home’ is a welcome entry! Like in most of their films they have again explored our societal patterns through the case study of family dynamics in a well educated, cultured upper middle class!