Mumbai, 28 Sep 2018 8:00 IST
Apart from the screenplay and dialogue, all the technical department like sound, background music, art direction and music contribute to make Home Sweet Home a memorable stay.
The song 'Ikadun Tikade' gives an apt gist of Home Sweet Home. Those who don't own a home, keep alive their aspiration and slog to make it a reality. Those who already own a home, look to upgrade. This may sound like a generalisation, but it's true that, no matter how traditional a thought, buying/building a home will still feature on any employed Indian's pre-retirement wishlist. The idea of stability and security of one's own home has a social and psychological effect that sucks Indians into a whirlpool of EMIs and mounting taxes.
The good news is that Home Sweet Home is not a sad reminder of this voluntary torture that many Indians put themselves through. It takes a lighthearted look at this aspiration from the eyes of two unlikely protagonists and a bunch of side characters who don't always have much to say.
Director Hrishikesh Joshi, alongwith writers Vaibhav Joshi and Mughda Godbole, has a winning film at hand. Mischievous and sometimes serious poetry is employed to make subtle comments on the personality of home, its people, human greed and the futility of it all.
Kadhich na virnari ub asen mee tuzhi
(I'll be the warmth that lasts forever)
Ani kadhich nasarnara mazha paus asasheel tu
(You'll be my rainfall, forever)
As the lines are narrated, life happens, years roll by in flashbacks, moments that made four walls a home are revealed and all of this conveys a strong attachment to an inanimate object — a house.
Most adults will identify with the scenery they drew as kids — Sun in the corner, fluffy clouds, a stream flowing through the mountains in the background, a house in one corner on a bed of grass, and a fence around it. The beginning credits use this imagery alongwith beautiful poem 'Ahe Kay Nahi Kay' and just the sound of a violin. Does the film go down the road of emotionally manipulating the audience? No.
It uses humour, poetry and music to give a light-hearted spin to the happenings. Most of Home Swee Home works because of its crisp writing and characters who deliver their lines with great confidence.
The film could have a young couple at the centre, but the writers choose an unlikely pair on a househunt.
The Mahajans, played by Mohan Joshi and Reema Lagoo, are quite like any bickering old couple we've seen around us. The warmth and chemistry that comes from knowing a person for several years is effortlessly on display here. You feel with these characters, as they fall victim to confusion and the supposedly comfortable "tower life".
They live in an old Dadar building, with no lift or amenities that are flashed across first few pages of newspapers every weekend. When Shyamal (Reema Lagoo) gets to know that their home could fetch them Rs3-and-a-half-crores, her eyes light up and she becomes obsessed with convincing her husband (Mohan Joshi) of selling the home for a fancier flat in a tower. Her knee problem is not the only reason, she insists, highlighting the positive financial implications the sale would have on their lives.
Their Man Friday-cum-real estate agent, Sopan (played by director Hrishikesh Joshi) has his own dreams of cracking a big deal, so he himself can move into a bigger, better home. As an actor, he's excellent, often providing comic relief.
Spruha Joshi barely has 5-6 lines and her track is a distraction. Vibhawari Deshpande plays their maid Suman, who also has little impact on the overall plot. The addition of these characters takes precious time away from Mohan Joshi and Reema Lagoo as they get through life, one snarky comment at a time.
Lagoo, who passed away last year, parts with a memorable performance. As the sarcastic Shyamal, she often expresses with her eyes and a straight face. In one scene, she seethes with anger, her lips quivering, but her eyes do a lot of talking.
Mohan Joshi sleepwalks through this role, taking it easy as Mr Mahajan. He keeps it light and ably supports his wife's character as their banter generates laughs. Both of them are delightfully entertaining to watch.
The home is captured intimately by director of photography Riju Das, giving the impression of it being a person close to you. The art directors Siddharth and Bhakti Tatuskar carefully place knick-knacks around to induce a warmth of a lived-in space. Nothing ever seems out of place, adding a charm to an old home with furniture collected over years. These visual aspects are ably supported by other technical departments like the background score by Santosh Mulekar and music by Mulekar and Narendra Bhide. The background score coupled with the poetry narrations often cause goosebumps — a sign of its effectiveness.
The quest for bigger, supposedly better spaces is neverending, but often also a constant tussle between holding on to culture and embracing modernity. This film shows a mirror of a trend we have witnessed in the past 15 years or so — the craze of redevelopment and the promise of a better life, space.
Let the Mahajans entertain you for 125 minutes as you get comfortable in their Home Sweet Home. Must visit.
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