Director Ashish Deo’s social drama is quite disturbing as it brings to light, gory details of the extreme torture young girls are forced to put up with at Rajawadi remand home, which is actually meant to reform them. The girls get beaten up, raped, sold, forced into flesh trade, starved to death, sexually assaulted by paedophile politicians and callous staff members of the detention home, among other offences. A news channel’s bureau chief DK (Ashutosh Rana) wants to expose these illegal activities and assigns newbie reporter Anjali (Simran Sehmi) to cover the case. Can there be a better future for these juvenile delinquents, whose plight goes unnoticed by the society at large?
If it’s solely about spreading awareness, Black Home could be lauded for raising the issue that gets brushed under the carpet mostly. However, as a film, it fails to deliver on various grounds, mainly because of poor writing and shoddy execution. It keeps harping on sexual violence without going beyond it to look into its characters’ psychological upheaval. Even their tragic backstories fail to evoke emotion. You don’t feel for the characters, despite the atrocities inflicted on them. Also it’s way too stereotypical. The warden is ill-tempered, male staff members are sleazy, politicians are rapists, TV reporters are projected as dumb, who sleep around to move up the social ladder, and so forth. Chitrashi Rawat in the central role does a decent job, but the film lets her down. Popular Marathi actor Sharad Ponkshe is wasted and deserves better.
Speaking of execution, the story refuses to proceed. After a while, you want to tell the makers ‘Yes, we get it. The girls are not safe in the remand homes, but what’s the solution’? Jabbar Patel’s Marathi film Umbartha, starring Smita Patil, though told from a different perspective, touched upon this issue in a way that it was genuine.
Black Home sheds light on the gruesome living conditions that the minor girls in remand homes are subjected to, with little or no help from the society whatsoever. Bogged down by political pressure, the media too is reduced to being a silent spectator.
The Times of India