Welcome Home Movie Review: Gut-Wrenching Twists And Excellent Performances Make This Thriller On Child Sex Abuse Spine-Chilling!

Moumita Bhattacharjee
·5-min read

Welcome Home movie review: SonyLIV seems to believe in the adage of less is more. Their content bouquet has lesser number of series or movies but manages to hit the bull's eye with nearly each one of them. Be it JL50 or Scam 1992 or Undekhi, they have delivered well. Welcome Home is just another formidable presentation by the streamer which is edgy, dreadful, scary and extremely horrific because child sex abuse is a reality that we are finding hard to fight against. Guess the fact that it has a name like Paresh Rawal as the producer can be credited for an experience that leaves you both mortified as a human and satisfied as a viewer! Welcome Home: Paresh Rawal Makes Digital Debut as Producer with Sony LIV’s Psychological-Thriller

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Anuja (Kashmira Irani) starts a new job at a school and is soon to get married. Her fiancee however wants her to quit it because 'Maa ko nahi pasand'. Yes, the typical mumbo-jumbo. While on her job, she and her colleague Neha (Swarde Thigale) are given census work of a nearby village. One of the spots on the list is Kodala which Neha decides to avoid as there's just one house but Anuja won't. They thus reach this one lone house with suspicious people in it. An old man Ghanshyam (Shashi Bhushan), a creepy house-help Bhola (Boloram Das), a slightly disturbed pregnant girl Prerna and an old woman Amma (Akshita Arora).

Anuja realises that the child Prerna gives birth to dies and also spots bruises on her. Anuja drags Neha with her after a week or so to enquire more about Prerna. But heavy rains force them to stay back. At night, Anuja sees something in the backyard which gives her a fright and she makes a run for her life along with Neha. From there on, all hell breaks loose.

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Check out the trailer of Welcome Home here

What keeps you hooked to this spine chilling thriller is the way it is narrated. It starts as a regular story of a girl confused about whether to marry her fiance who doesn't respect what she likes. It then takes the form of a horror film plot with heightened BG and subtle jump cuts. If you haven't seen the trailer of the movie, you wouldn't even know whether to expect a ghost or a serial killer. But slowly things start to unravel and you deep dive into the story so fast that there is no escape. The director Pushkar Sunil Mahabal, who is also the editor, has made sure that the momentum never falls and you don't get distracted. There are scenes that make you restless to know what happens next. For example, the one where a sleazeball Bhola waits like an animal sizing up its prey while Anuja tries to kick start her scooter. Till the scooter starts again your heart race with dread!

The story by Ankita Narang is extremely taut with no room for unnecessary drama or screams or shrieks. It's a story about child sex abuse and survival which is very poignantly scripted by Narang making it one of the best movies we have watched this year. Remember the time you wanted to slam the protagonist for being overtly brave and trying to tackle a situation alone only to get trapped? Welcome Home gives you the same feeling and strongly so but what unfolds make you reason that Anuja wanted to be absolutely sure about what she saw and not go concocting theories.

The statistics at the end indicate that the story is about what actually happened. The family lived in that house for 20 years and did all kinds of horrific deeds without the fear of any repercussion until Neha and Anuja take matter in their hands. Some of the visuals are extremely traumatic so caution is advised but that sets the mood right for what is to follow next. The anticipation the story manages to peak in you tempts you to hit the forward button. Not because it's boring but because the suspense is getting the better of you. What heightens the aftertaste of the movie is that all this has actually happened.

As for flaws, too much of Marathi in the intial few minutes could get a bit of a deterent making you wonder if you are watching a regional movie. Fortunately, in OTT world, subtitles are a huge hit but even now, there are people who aren't to opem to that practice. It could limit the audience. Also, the back story of Anuja doesn't really make any sense to the plot and could have been avoided. There's a scene where Anuja tells Neha her mom's dead but later in the movie, when Neha asks her who she would call to get out of the mess, Anuja says her mother. So is she dead or not?

Performances of course deserve a special mention. Like I have said before in many reviews, OTT has done a tremendous job of sticking to talent rather than star quotient. That has rewarded them immensely. Kashmira Irani's sadness, dread, fright and determination to fight back all can be felt as she does an excellent job. Swarde Thigale as Neha is brilliant. But it's Boloram Das as the revolting sleazeball who deserves a lot of accolade. The sight of such Bholas are common for women and Das never loses the grip on the character.

Yay!

  • Taut thriller

  • Fantastic performances

  • Superb direction

Nay!

  • Needless backstory

  • too much Marathi

Final Thoughts: Welcome Home is a must watch for everyone who enjoys a good psycho-thriller that get you invested till the end. It's also a must for everyone who wants to know why child sex abuse needs to dealt with strongly and shouldn't just end as statistics.