Director: Fien Troch
Writer: Nico Leunen, Fien Troch
Cast: Sebastian Van Dun, Lena Suijkerbuijk, Mistral Guidotti, Loïc Bellemans, Karlijn Sileghem, Robbie Cleiren, Els Deceukelier
Seen on: 3.9.2016
When Kevin (Sebastian Van Dun) is released from juvenile prison, his mother (Els Dottermans) finds that having him return into the old family situation really isn’t the best thing to do. So she asks her sister Sonja (Karlijn Sileghem) to take him instead. Sonja reluctantly agrees. They find work for Kevin with Sonja’s husband Willem (Robbie Cleiren) and Kevin finds social connections with Sonja’s son Sammy (Loïc Bellemans), his girlfriend Lina (Lena Suijkerbuijk) and his best friend John (Mistral Guidotti). But despite good intentions, things don’t really work out all that smoothly.
Home realistically portrays its protagonists and its story. That is sometimes very hard to bear, but most of the time, it’s worth to fight through it. I only found the ending a little disappointing.
More often than not the teenagers we see in TV and film are highly polished 20-to-25-year-olds who are way too mature for the age they’re portraying. Seeing the teenagers Troch captures here, the artificiality of those teenagers becomes even more apparent. Kevin, Sammy, Lina and John are normal teens like you can find them every day, in all of their interactions – amongst themselves and with adults. All four of them are excellently played, too.
Troch’s approach to the film is almost like a documentary. She lets events unfold in a calm manner, even when those events are cruel and uncomfortable – and they often are. The picture she conjures up is one of an entire generation of adults who are inadequate in pretty much of all the ways they deal with the teens in their lives. Sometimes they are well-meaning, sometimes they aren’t. But even the actions of those who do try go from neglectful to actively harmful; the teenagers remain burdens and little else.
This makes the film extremely tough to watch, though unfortunately not unrealistic.
The film stands firmly in the teens’ corner and even incorporates some footage the kids (supposedly?) shot themselves on cell phones, which ends up feeling entirely natural. That means that the inevitable bad turn their story takes hits even harder.
Unfortunately after the big showdown, the film loses its momentum and the ending itself feels weak und not very memorable. But until that point, Home gives us an unaffected, if pessimistic window into the life of these teenagers that may as well be a documentary – making the film more than worth it.