August 20, 2021 8:38:58 am
Malayalam filmmaker Rojin Thomas is a firm believer of the ‘write what you know’ school of thought. Every character in his films is based on real people that he has actually met, as he told indianexpress.com. He creates characters based on his personal life and places them in the fictional world that he crafts with the camera. That’s how he made his latest film, #Home, which is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
The idea for #Home came to Rojin when his father came to him for help. “I got this idea about seven years ago. My father asked me to teach him how to recharge his phone using the internet on a desktop computer. And he didn’t even know at the time how to switch on the CPU. When I began to show him how to do it, he began to take step-by-step notes of the process as you see in the trailer. After explaining everything, I asked him to recharge the phone by himself. And he did. The moment he completed the transaction, he was so overjoyed. I never saw him that happy,” he recalled.
While teaching his father some rudimentary technology, Rojin had a brainwave. He decided to make a movie on the struggles faced by elderly people trying to keep up with the digital revolution. He wasted no time in pitching the idea to producer Vijay Babu, who immediately green-lit it.
Rojin, however, was unable to think of a strong story that will do justice to the idea. “One day my father called me on skype to chat with me. And during the conversation, he narrated a story to me. I picked a storyline from that conversation and began to flesh out the script,” he added.
#Home is uncannily similar to Rojin’s life story. The film revolves around a young filmmaker, played by Sreenath Bhasi, who has already given a hit film. Yet, he’s unable to complete the story for his second film due to a lack of inspiration. His father, played by Indrans, tells him a story that gets the creative juices flowing.
Rojin believes that real experiences and memories are fodder for filmmaking. “I think filmmakers/writers are kind of sadists. If somebody is telling me a sad thing that happened to them, my mind begins to wonder whether this makes for a good scene in my movies. We are kind of very cruel,” Rojin quipped.
While Rojin was ready with the script, it took him five years to turn it into a reality. “We wanted to cast a superstar for the lead role in the film. But, we couldn’t find the right actor as the protagonist in the film was 60 plus. So Vijay sir asked me to start considering other options. And it took us five years to put together this cast,” he noted.
Rojin feels it was a blessing in disguise as he thinks Indrans has done a “brilliant job” in the film. He is also elated that his film will be available for the audience to watch during Onam, which is the biggest festival for Malayalis all around the world. He believes that the growing popularity of OTT platforms has sort of levelled the field for small-budget films. He noted #Home would have hardly survived the onslaught of Onam blockbuster festival releases at the box office.
“Usually, big films would be released during Onam in theatres. And a film like #Home would never have a chance to release in good theatres. So it is because of the OTT platforms, a director like me got the opportunity to release a film like #Home during this festival,” he said.
#Home also stars Vijay Babu, Manju Pillai, Naslen, Kainakary Thankaraj, KPAC Lalitha, Srikanth Murali, Johny Antony, Pauly Wilson, Maniyan Pillai Raju, Anoop Menon, Aju Varghese.
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