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Review: 'Home Minister' deals oddly with affairs of the heart

December 13, 2012|By Mark Olsen
  • A scene from "Home Minister."
A scene from "Home Minister." (Handout )

The recent rise of digital cinema has made it possible for just about anyone anywhere in the world to make something that can aspire to call itself a movie. Looking at "Home Minister" through that lens, it's easy to think of the project as a home-made, one-man-band amateur movie created with an odd naivete.

So it's a little bit disappointing when it turns out to have been crafted by people active in the Tamil film industry of southern India known as Kollywood, credited to a writer-director known as "P. Rajamanickam."

The film stars actor Venu Arvind -- he is the only character who appears on screen, spending all his time alone -- as a supposedly family-oriented government official attending an international peace conference who is informed via text that his Australian mistress has been kidnapped.

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As he drives to meet the kidnappers, he is spoken to by God, who engages him in a long, meandering conversation on the historical origins of the rise of terrorism, the importance of population control and other topics circling the quality of modern life.

God speaks with a British-accent, an almost computer-inflected formality -- "It was very nice talking to you," God says at the end -- which plays as weird counterpoint to Arvind's own stilted delivery.

Earnestly musing on the big questions, there is likely nothing else quite like "Home Minister," a self-published philosophical tract transposed into a movie that defies most all conventional notions of good or bad. It's something more akin to hypnotically terrible.


"Home Minister." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 22 minutes. At Laemmle's Playhouse 7, Pasadena.

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