Netflix’s Homemade Review: Art is a Way of Surviving

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Homemade is an Italian-Chilean anthology series produced by filmmakers from all over the world. Each of the short stories talk about life during the coronavirus pandemic, that has nearly crippled the entire world. All of them are short-films, and each of the films have a different theme.

The stories range from heart-warming, to thrilling and there’s also a musical. But mostly, each of these stories talk about life in isolation, and how that has affected people. A lot of them are shot on the filmmakers’ phones, giving it a realistic touch.

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The stories will remind you that you are not alone, and that even we are alone and confined against our wills, we are in it together.

Homemade

That is what makes this series special. You will realise that people all over the world are going through the same frustration, anger, resentment, sadness and loneliness. But, even in that, we’re together, someone far away is probably going through the same feelings we are. And that gives you hope.

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There are 17 stories, all different. And all of them have a special flavour to them.

Clichy-Montfermil – Ladj Ly

“If the current times are tough, for whom is it so?”

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Buzz, confined alone in his home, sends a drone over Montfermeil, France, to capture the various moods of the city in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This short makes up the correct mood for what’s to come, and also gives you a nice glimpse of the beautiful sights and sounds.

Voyage Au Bout De La Nuit – Paolo Sorrentino

“Confinement is a condition of the spirit.”

Queen Elizabeth II visits Pope Francis in the Vatican, but is unable to go back home due to lockdown being imposed. However, an unlikely friendship and love blossoms between the two, as they flirt, dance and skinny-dip during the quarantine. At one point they both realise just how lonely they are. This is Homemade‘s most hilarious story, with some awesome voice-acting.

The Lucky Ones – Rachel Morrison

“I hope that when this is over, you’ll remember scaling the car like a fortress, and camping on the deck beneath the stars.”

A mother writes a poem for her 5-year-old son, hoping that he’ll remember the good parts of the lockdown. She asks him to let her worry about all the negative things, so that he is able to remember the experience as a positive one. Definitely a tear-jerker!

Last Call – Pablo Larraín

“If this awful virus was created for people like you, then long live the virus!”

An old man in a nursing home, probably suffering from COVID, video calls one of his exes to implore her to come meet him. However, the twist will leave you rolling on the floor laughing! This one really got me.

Couple Splits Up While In Lockdown LOL – Rungano Nyoni

“Seriously, put on 5 Kg. Bitter.”

A couple decide to break up during lockdown, and both start living their lives while sharing the same flat. However, an incident with their neighbour’s dog changes their mind! The fallacies of modern dating, this one’s funny and oh-so-real.

Espacios – Natalia Beristáin

A little girl tries to entertain herself to the best of her abilities during the lockdown. This short will remind you how difficult it must be for little kids, just stuck at home.

Casino – Sebastian Schipper

“There’s something wrong with me.”

This one confused me to no end! A man hallucinates himself and starts interacting with him. A few days later, he realises what’s going on.

Last Message – Naomi Kawase

“What is real happiness?”

A boy in Japan thinks about how precious life is, after her finds out how many people are left on Earth. This short made me feel so lonely, and reminded me that worse things can happen.

Ferosa – David Mackenzie

“Being ignored for so long, you can just lose yourself.”

A teenager tries to spend isolation keeping herself as entertained as possible. But she also wonders what happens when all of this is over. Something I wonder that too – very relatable.

Penelope – Maggie Gyllenhaal

“The virus now seems to be attacking the atmosphere surrounding the lunar landscape.”

A mysterious virus attacks the planet, which affects the moon’s atmosphere, making it orbit closer to the Earth. A man tries all he can to keep up with his normal routine, until he gets a sweet gift. This short hit close to home, because at this point in 2020, anything can happen.

Mayroun and the Unicorn – Nadine Labaki & Khaled Mouzanar

“I have had enough of this!”

A little girl gets stuck in his father’s office, and creates an imaginary world for herself. A sweet reminder about how kids can adapt to anything, this whole short was shot in a single take. Pretty impressive.

Annex – Antonio Campos

“Hey, are you ok?”

A little girl finds a man unconscious on a beach. Her parents take him home and let him rest after calling the police. However, a shocking surprise awaited them the next day. This one is right up there with my favourites. Thrilling and very confusing, it will keep you scratching your head even after it’s over.

Johnny Ma – Johnny Ma

“I’m the son that is never there.”

A man makes a video letter for his mother, while in isolation with his family far away. He makes dumplings with them, something that his mother used to do. A sweet film that is definitely heart-warming, it highlights how difficult it is for families who are not together.

Crickets – Kristen Stewart

“Man, I would just love a little break.”

A woman tries to battle insomnia, while crickets taunt her. I have said this before, and I’ll say it again – Kristen Stewart does not receive enough praise for her great acting skills. A very real problem for a lot of people – this film is extremely relatable.

Unexpected Gift – Gurinder Chadha

“You look like a clown!”

Gurinder Chadha talks about her and her family’s life in lockdown. This film is a gentle reminder that a lot of people around the world are losing their family members, and it’s so sad that they are not able to say their last goodbyes.

Algoritmo – Sebastián Lelio

“And here we sing everything to be able to survive.”

A woman sings about life in quarantine and how the pandemic has affected humanity. This short is for everyone who wants some music in their lives.

Ride It Out – Ana Lily Amirpour

“Our lives were familiar and now they must be reconstructed.”

A woman takes a bike ride around Los Angeles, California, taking in the mesmerising but terrifying view of a city which is almost empty.

Summing up: Homemade

17 stories, from 17 different filmmakers, with 17 different flavours – Homemade consists of heart-warming stories of people from different parts of the world in similar situations. It reminds us that we’re not alone, and that we’ll get through this together.

Homemade

My favourite shorts were Voyage Au Bout De La, Last Call and Annex. The former two were hilarious, while the last one was tense and thrilling. However, all of them were extremely enjoyable. If you’re sitting at home and feel down, and need some hope and motivation, Homemade is for you.

Homemade is streaming on Netflix right now.

Further Reading: The F**k-It List, JU-ON Origins, Hamilton and more.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

17 stories, from 17 different filmmakers, with 17 different flavours – Homemade consists of heart-warming stories of people from different parts of the world battling the coronavirus pandemic. It reminds us that we’re not alone and that we’ll get through this together.
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Archi Sengupta
Horror Movies + Cats > People

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