Rejection is something that nearly everyone must deal with at some point throughout the course of their lives (often on more than one occasion). However, not all that face this inevitable plight possess the ability to overcome these moments and continue with life in the same fashion. Guide Me Home, which examines one man’s reaction to rejection, begins with Eve (Hannah Emanuel) recounting the life of her brother, David (Mat Laroche). He is infatuated with his pharmacist, Saanvi (Helena Banerjee), and eventually professes his love for her. When she does not reciprocate this love, David must say to the world, “guide me home.” However, that request proves to be difficult when David is unsure about what exactly home means to him.
There are moments throughout Guide Me Home where viewers are able to make connections to the world in which they live. They can see themselves in David and Eve, but, even in those moments, there’s a disconnect between the characters and the audience. The struggles present in David’s life are clear, but what specifically plagues him (other than being rejected by Saanvi) eludes those watching. While audiences are shown, over and over again, the many issues that David faces, the story feels fractured. Anyone watching will fail to understand why each of these things takes place throughout his life or what one has to do with the other. By the time Guide Me Home has concluded, audience members are left scratching their heads, wondering what they missed.
“[David] is infatuated with his pharmacist, Saanvi, and eventually professes his love…”
The mystery/thriller genre often leaves viewers in the dark until the big reveal toward the end. Watching a film of this nature, one expects to be confused, but it is typically expected that once the movie concludes, the audience will have the ability to look back and go, “ah-ha, now I get it.” This never happens in writer/director Stefan Georgiou’s short film. Even as the characters reveal what has taken place behind the scenes, it feels impossible to look back and better understand anything that has taken place. The fractured nature of the storytelling cripples the movie and its reception.
While Guide Me Home is plagued with issues, that doesn’t mean that everything throughout the film is lost. The love that Eve has for her brother could not be more clear. Emanuel’s acting is nearly perfect, and she possesses a talent that makes Guide Me Home slightly better. She can’t fix the many flaws that reside within the movie. Still, her ability to portray passion, love, heartache, and other essential emotions allow viewers to see the messages that lie deep beneath the surface.
Guide Me Home fails to entertain in the way Georgiou envisioned, but there are glimmers of hope sprinkled throughout that keep viewers engaged for the entire 16-minute duration of the drama. Most of what takes place feels uneven and fragmented, failing to provide genuine entertainment at any point. Emanuel and the deeply buried messages are its saving grace and are the only reason audiences are able to stick around as long as they do, but even those aspects feel watered down from time to time.
"…rejection is something that nearly everyone must deal..."