Film: ‘Homecoming’ (Streaming on SonyLiv); Duration: 90 minutes
Director: Soumyajit Majumdar
Cast: Sayani Gupta, Tushar Pandey, Plabita Borthakur, Hussain Dalal, Soham Majumdar, Tuhina Das, Sayan Ghosh, Pujarni Ghosh, Sreya Bhattacharya, Angana Roy, Priyanka Mondal, Subhra Sourav Das, Apratim Chatterjee, Anirjit Hoare, Madhurima Ghosh, Ayan Bhattacharjee
Packed with an ensemble cast of over 30 actors and set against the backdrop of Kolkata’s famed Durga Puja, Writer-Director-Producer Soumyajit Majumdar’s ‘Homecoming’ is a “buddy-film” with a hackneyed theme.
The narrative follows a group of friends who were a part of a large theatre group called Amra. The friends reunite- for the first time after their last performance seven years ago. They congregate in the large bungalow, which was once their old rehearsal space. During the reunion, the friends converse about their past, present, and future, and over the period once again bond. Thus the film ends on a note that states- “For the record, we never broke up, we were on a holiday”.
The first half of the film is a montage of fragmented scenes. Each scene in the montage consists of pieces of conversation, some pretentious while others are simply irrelevant. But gradually, as the razor-thin plot meanders with no definite goal, we realise, as mentioned by one of the characters in the film, “It’s like seeing illusion within reality”.
The screenplay is a big let-down. The absurdity of the narration where each scene is good in silos but abrupt and disconnected with the next scene throws the viewer off guard, and thus it is a pain to watch the film. Adding to this, the film is talk heavy, where the characters talk on various subjects without any sequence or method to their madness. Thus, what you get is chaos and cacophony.
It’s only during the songs that the noise graph is under control. Also, the narrative stabilises at half-point when Sri (Sayani Gupta), once a lead actor of Amra and now a disillusioned poster girl of ‘alternate’ Bangla Cinema, and Imroze aka #canteen_rockstar, once a singer and music director at Amra, and now an equally disillusioned singer in the Hindi film circuit, awkwardly bump into each other in their secret place of rendezvous. It is their catharsis that makes them bond once again. Thereafter, the narrative streamlines to a meaningful but lacklustre coherent end.
On the acting front, each actor delivers a robust performance, sincerely.
Visually, while the film is mostly shot only in one location, it is a relief and a delight when we get to see young Abhishek Ghatak, aka Godot, cycling in Kolkata. The frames are magnificent.
Overall, the film will appeal to anyone who has spent time in Kolkata. The dialogues as well as the lyrics of the three songs will ring home nostalgia and will surely tug at their heartstrings. (IANS)