Nostalgia is an addiction. Though an overworked theme in movies, it never fails to underline the hollowness of life.
Riding on mesmerising memories of five friends, Idukki Gold directed by Aashiq Abu starts well, but falls flat later.
Sunny memories of the good old school days bring these friends together at their alma-mater. They believe God made 'grass' and man made liquor; both to celebrate precious life. They want to smoke a joint of Idukki Gold (a brand of marijuana grown in the pristine mountains of Idukki, Kerala) as they reminisce their school days. They want to go on a high and live in the hallucinatory world for a while. However, the delicate moments of the movie end there and Idukki Gold loses track midway. A weak climax fails the film.
Michael (Prathap Pothan) lands in Cochin from the Czech Republic with a mission. He wants to meet his school buddies after 30 long years. After spotting his classified in the newspaper, Madan (Maniyanpillai Raju), a planter, and Ravi (Disco Raveendran), a photographer, join him in the search for others.
They meet others - Antony (Babu Antony), a karate freak during the schooling years, who runs a restaurant with his French wife and Raman (Vijayraghavan), a widower - and decide to start their journey in search of roots and ‘grass’.
The movie is based on a story by writer Santhosh Echikkanam. Ashiq Abu tries to ‘borrow ideas’ from Quentin Tarantino, but fails to recreate the magic of the master filmmaker. His attempt to tell a story with no handsome hero and pretty heroine on board and no clichéd dance-song sequences is appreciable. Maniyanpillai Raju and Disco Raveendran are a blast, but Vijayraghavan has nothing much to do. Babu Antony and Prathap Pothan do classy act. Female actors Sajitha Madathil and Praseetha have minor roles. It is a sweet journey back to childhood; hats off to the five artistes who played younger version of the gang.
A plus point is the enchanting frames of Shyju Khalid. His lens conjures up the misty and green heaven of Cheruthoni and its classic mountains. Biji Bal’s music is average. The director tries to package it well, but holes in the script and a predictable ending take sheen out of the movie.
Coming with a ‘new generation’ tag, the movie could have been smarter and sassier, had the screenplay by Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair treated it more seriously. This one doesn’t pack the real punch. Give it a shot if nostalgia floats your boat.
The Verdict: This stuff doesn’t take you high
Film: Idukki Gold
Director: Ashiq Abu
Cast: Prathap Pothan, Maniyanpillai Raju, Disco Raveendran and Vijayaraghavan