What is the story about?
Anuja and Neha, two government officials, visit a house in the middle of nowhere for census enumeration. The family living in the house, however, is not as it seems. Due to various reasons, Anuja and Neha get trapped in the house and are in danger of being killed. Can they make out of it alive?
Maybe this is because of the mushrooming of various OTT platforms, but it is heartening to see Indian filmmakers turn to horror that is based on real-life stories. In the last few years, so many cases of sexual abuse have come out in media reports, and often these cases happen within families, which makes it difficult to report to the police. Unlike the Anushka Sharma-starrer NH10, which was about an outsider getting trapped in a village, Welcome Home sees two women, Anuja and Neha, living in the nearby village. They are both victims of abuse at the hands of patriarchy, and they long to break away. When they come across the young pregnant mother in the house they visit, she tells them to accept their reality. Honestly, what follows after that sickens you to the core—more so when you realize that this is based on real-life. The women in the household, as well as Anuja and Neha, are subjected to violence and abuse of all kinds at the hands of the patriarchy Ghanshyam, the cook Bhola and the mother, who wants to uphold the family honour. It’s a relentless film, full of violence and world-views that will shock you and make you understand how patriarchy is normalized. It is to the credit of director Pushkar Mahabal and writer Ankita Narang that they keep things engaging in this survival thriller, with a really brutal climax that is also very therapeutic.
Kashmira Irani and Swarda Thigle play Anuja and Neha, who rediscover their survival instincts before it is too late for them. Shashi Bhushan and Boloram Das are repulsive as the men, Ghanshyam and Bhola. The rest of the cast are competent.
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