Friday, 20 March 2015


And so we enter into a new phase of filmmaking, not as the result of a clean break but due to an escalating transition that seems now to have reached its target. Whereas I often support filmmakers who choose to disregard the unwritten rules of their craft and forge their own paths, the patchy manner in which this process is completed in Home suggests that its filmmakers have done so out of carelessness, not out of care. DreamWorks Animation doesn't even acknowledge the futility of hiring an A-list voice cast - a questionable strategy in the past, but even more curious with Home, since viewers under 10 are rarely swayed by the presence of Steve Martin in their movies. You see, Home is a movie made solely for viewers under 10. It favours colour and comedy over story and stability, setting its zany scenario in a newly-imagined world established without context, developed without breadth of vision. The film feels rushed and cloistered; its colours and comedy are respectively unattractive and unfunny too, for the most part. As it lumbers uneasily into its shabby third act, Home does acquire a moderate level of emotional gravitas, and the animators finally indulge in some genuine creativity, but it's too little too late, and director Tim Johnson still seems too eager to hurry things forward. At best, Home feels like a promising film truncated into something short, forgettable and easily digestible. But what has been truncated is, itself, inherently deficient; its chief virtues, in the end, are that it is short and forgettable, but its digestibility is in doubt.