Saturday, March 21, 2015

Coffee Bloom 

Tepid Brew

The good thing is that in these market driven times, a small film without stars gets made and released. The struggle against mainstream might carries on.

Too bad then, that the film in which one is willing to invest support turns out to be a ponderous bore. The beautiful Coorg coffee plantation where a lot of the film is shot promises more than Manu Warrier’s Coffee Bloom delivers.

Moving back and forth in time, it tells of a perpetually disgruntled looking Dev Anand Cariappa (Arjun Mathur), who returns to the coffee plantation he grew up on and then sold to pay off debts. He runs a coffee outlet, but without much interest. Even though he makes moves towards renunciation, he has a strange relationship with a Bengali woman, and a tense one with his mother, who dies heartbroken and angry with Dev.

The plantation was bought by the annoyingly cheerful Vasu (Mohan Kapoor), who is the husband of Dev’s ex-girlfriend Anika (Sugandha Garg). The two had broken up years ago after a misguided suicide pact went wrong. Vasu, who is as passionate as he is ignorant about growing coffee, hires Dev to help him manage the estate, oblivious to the reigniting of the passion between Dev and Anika.

The characters are supposed to be complex, but just come across as underdeveloped. The story unfolds at a slow pace, by the time it splutters to life in the second half, the film has already lost its grip.

Arjun Mathur is a decent enough actor and manages to make something of the part of a man so self-centred that his woes don’t evoke any sympathy; the same can’t be said of Garg and Kapoor’s one note performances—she sleepwalks through the film, and he is hyperactive.

On a location made for romance, Warrier comes up with a tepid brew.


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