Directed by Chookiat Sakweerakul
Chookiat Sakweerakul’s romantic drama anthology ‘Home’ follows three couples of different generations all linked together by their hometown. Dedicated to his late father who passed away in 2009, Sakweerakul explores love and loss through two school students’ blossoming romance, a grieving widow and a couple soon to be married.
‘Home’ is set in Sakweerakul’s hometown Chiang Mai, and it has a very personal, intimate feel throughout. His intentions are heartfelt and the themes of love and loss are moving and sincere; the story of the widow being the most fragile and emotional. The imagery is vivid and bright giving a romantic, poetic feel and although the themes are strong and powerful they’re made less dramatic through beautiful cinematography.
Perhaps the most poignant element is the opening segment of the film, which centres around two schoolboys on the school grounds at night. Their relationship is ambiguous but it is explored tentatively and slowly, it is not overly romantic or exaggerated and their feelings for each other are only suggested.
This style of leaving it up to the viewers’ imagination makes the conclusion of their relationship at the end of the film all the more powerful. The performances of both Chutavuth Pattarakampol and Kittisak Patomburana as the schoolboys are warm and funny but they handle the deep theme with finesse.
The three stories within the film link only very loosely, so they are treated as separate stories, almost like three short films edited together. This is a very clever and interesting technique that binds three very different, but ultimately very similar stories together, emphasizing Sakweerakul’s feelings about love and relationships, and how love is a poignant emotion for people of all walks of life.
Sakweerakul revisits the homosexual-romance theme of his earlier film ‘The Love of Siam’ (2007) which gained him recognition as the youngest promising director in the industry. Both films are very personal with a warm sincerity that makes them moving and accessible, but ‘Home’ has an even more personal vibe with Sakweerakul’s dedication of the film to his father. There are elements in each character that everyone can relate to, and it’s guaranteed to bring a lump to your throat.
Review by Natasha Harmer