There are so many cliché sayings about home and what it means for all of us. For Marvin, his return home is not of the triumphant hero or the weary traveller, he is simply returning home because he has nowhere else to go. This is a mix of the prodigal son and a journey of redemption and forgiveness, but mostly a story about someone who knows nothing more than where home is.
Released from prison after many years for murder, Marvin returns to his home town and his sick mother, Bernadette. While trying to adjust to life on the outside, he continues to wrestle with his demons, believing he hasn't atoned enough for his crime. When the family of the elderly woman he murdered find out about his return, they too want further justice. Despite all this, he strikes up a tentative friendship with Delta, a young single mother, trying to get by.
Marvin is a quiet soul; he keeps to himself and just wants to get home as soon as possible. Along his journey he is met with unwarranted aggression, even when he simply asks for a cup of coffee. This aggression doesn't stop, he faces it almost every step of the way from people in his home town. Even his mother doesn't give him the warmest welcome. But although this makes us feel sorry for Marvin initially, we are thrown into doubt when we find out who and how he murdered someone years before. But the fact he spends the entire film seeking redemption and forgiveness, even though he believes he doesn't deserve it, we can see that Marvin is just a man who wants to come home and be at peace.
The conflict within the story sets out to be with the family of the woman he killed but the real conflict is within himself. With a few encounters of compassion and empathy in Jayden, his mother's nurse and Delta, the grand-daughter of his victim and even in the local priest, he slowly can start to piece back together. His relationship with his mother is portrayed as unstable at first but deep down these two people have both lost a key part of themselves and share that pain. There are slightly morbid comical conversations had between mother and son where she relates to him who in the family is dead now. Her blunt no nonsense attitude to easing her son back into home life may seem too harsh but this is the best way for Marvin to adjust. Bernadette does care and she shows in her own way.
There are holes in the story concerning other characters and their life pitfalls, we don't whether Delta continues selling drugs, we don't know how her home life changes and what became of junkie Wade. These are all players in a story that is about Marvin, but all these characters have moments to themselves, you can't help but wonder how they fared as Marvin continues his story.
Writer/director Franka Potente captures the innocence of someone who is proven guilty. Yet instead of any flashbacks or evidence of the brutal crime that haunts so many of the characters, we left with Marvin's painful testimony and acceptance of what he has done. It's a sombre story that doesn't have a complete ending as Marvin's personal journey will continue.
Home will be available on Digital Download from 24th January