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Directed by Haruka Motohashi  |  Review by Triptayan Chatterjee

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n a mysterious evening a different idea of life was hovering over a very small apartment among the buzzes of insects. Conflict between a father and a daughter compelled a mom to leave her daughter and give her a new desire for life. Director Haruka Motohashi shows the extensive phase of depression of the mother through her dream of swimming and regular physical exercises she does to get rid of her pain. No extravaganza of light, sound or the jugglery of editing is seen in this movie. Everything unravels like a calm ocean wave – scene after scene, image after image takes places to tell a universal story of life in a magnificent cinematic way. Natural acting, natural symbolism and the natural presentation sometimes make us think whether it is a student’s film or a mature one. Haruka proved that she has made a wonderful masterpiece.

Just take a look. A small family of three members has made the backbone of the screenplay – father, mom and daughter. Every time there was some emotional conflict between the father and the daughter, it was making the mom feel fatigued. After a hard fight within herself, the mom decides to leave her daughter somewhere far from the house to give her a new light as she believes her daughter is self-sufficient and ready to look for a better life. The daughter left but the memory of her mom and her earlier life went on haunting her. After four years of isolated life, she decides to come back home.

The dialogues in this movie are apt and appropriate, the storyline is mature, and conflicts are intelligent. All these things made Haruka’s script and screenplay beautifully related.

Film language and wonderful symbolism are two staples of the film BACK HOME. At the very beginning, the sound of insects crying when the daughter first comes back and knocks the doors forecasts some depression and weeping in the current waves of life. The calm evening tried to meet the idea in a unique way. However, the most beautiful film language is seen in some actions of the mother and her daughter. We have to keep in mind that the scene of exercise to get rid of the leg and hip pain after surgery symbolizes the fights of the mother with the life. Surgery is the decision to make the end of this horrible position. Moreover, when we see the dreams of swimming in the ocean, it may look like an irrelevant scene, but it is actually quite important. This swimming in the dream symbolizes the swimming across all currents of life to overcome the stress and agony.

Through the entire film, we see a bicycle left standing at the side of the entrance of the room even when the daughter comes back home and returns to her own life. This cycle tells the story of the stagnation of the situation. The daughter tried to put her name in the house nameplate, but due to the broken sketch pen, she couldn’t do it.

Every aspect of the acting has been done perfectly by Toyoko and Haruka Motohashi in this Japanese film. But the angle of the camera in different shots could have been more versatile – there is no panning, tilt up or tilt down even in the final version of this film. Light has been used in a normal way, the sound is distinct. The special effect of sounds at the very beginning has established the life beat of this film.

All these things have made the film BACK HOME a real success. The message blowing in the wind is that we can find home basically anywhere – as long as we can obtain true inner peace.


Triptayan is a filmmaker looking for a different horizon. Earlier a journalist Triptayan has done intensive research on film language and made different documentaries so far. He is now concentrating upon feature film in a vast landscape. Professionally a teacher, Triptayan has also passion for making films threaded with the international and universal thoughts.

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