Directed by: #JasonFarries
Written by: #SamGosiewski
Film Review by: #ChrisBuick
In the wake of an unprecedented nationwide lockdown caused by a global pandemic, a young student (Farries) finds himself having to wait things out alone at his parents’ house in the middle of nowhere, unsure when they will be able to return from their trip abroad or when things will start to get back to normal. Surely everything should blow over in a few weeks?
As we are all too aware, it didn’t (and still hasn’t fully at the time of writing) so it’s not long before Farries’ character (credited here simply as The Student) finds himself struggling not just with isolation and the resulting boredom, but after falling ill himself eventually ends up in a losing battle for his own sanity.
While Homesick may undoubtedly land uncomfortably close to home for a lot or people, make no mistake, Farries and writer Sam Gosiewski still have plenty of twists and turns up their sleeve to surprise us with along the way as they take the current global situation and stretch its unpredictable nature into a sort of post-apocalyptic psychological thriller-cum-nightmare, full of questionable realities and unreliable narratives as far as our protagonist is concerned.
What it does well is establish that desired atmosphere of crippling isolation early, both narratively (it’s established early on that the parents’ house is almost a dead zone for cell reception, it's miles from anywhere and everyone he knows and loves is miles further still), but also through other more subtle flourishes such as the films beautifully underplayed score that lets that unsettling feeling hang uncomfortably throughout, all of which gives the films more intense moments much more impact.
Starring as well as directing, Farries’ character is an interesting one, written and performed purposefully it seems in such a way that it gives us just enough in order to be able to sympathise with his slow descent into madness, even if he is never exactly likeable and in fact is at times as pitiful as he is frustrating. There are times when he comes across as nothing more than a petulant child, his situation isn’t exactly as bad as it could be and indeed has been for a lot of unfortunate people. No kids, big house, no real responsibilities.
“You are sat right here feeling sorry for yourself, basting yourself in self-pity"
But both Farries, with a terrific nuanced performance, and Gosiewski seem to be more than aware of and perhaps even complicit in creating this perception, using a plethora of unique and interesting methods to show us that it’s not just us who are feeling this way, but in fact it’s all part of the underlying insecurities and self-deprecation that is plaguing our protagonist’s mind incessantly as he continues to spiral all the way down. Then what we realise is that Homesick is a respectfully crafted metaphor for the unwitting and insidious effects of loneliness that many would have endured over the past year.
There are moments when it seems the film takes a few unnecessary swipes at those who perhaps didn’t have it quite as hard as those the film is trying to represent, not to mention some of the dialogue feels quite unnatural and stilted at times, but for the most part Homesick is precise, thought-out and very well executed.
Homesick is available to watch now on Amazon Prime Video. Watch the trailer here: