When it is an offbeat film starring veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah, the expectations tend to be higher than usual. However, in this case, if you are one of the few people in the theater who silently mocked the bunch of loud teeny-boppers for walking out before the interval, well then, the joke is on you.
Colonel (Shah) is a reclusive middle-aged marijuana farmer who is growing a much sought after variety of the crop in the forest of Vagamon in Kerala. With a dog named Kuttapan Patti (KP) and rifle for company and protection, Colonel seems content with life and his grey dreadlocks, except for an occasional pining for his lady-love, about who all we know is that she is possibly from Northeast India and lives in Bombay.
Rivalry between his buyers leads to one of them dumping the other's kidnapped daughter, Jaya (Kumra), in Colonel's reluctant care. A warm friendship blooms between the two but like the film, it goes nowhere. She is a medical student who knows that the sedative he's injecting in her is an overdose but curiously, does not try to treat his bullet wound later in the film despite their well-established equation.
Shah essays a character who loves animals over men, drinks beer to replace body fluids lost in sweat, shares beef with KP and believes that music helps his crop grow better. But curiously, he isn't shown rolling or smoking any of his harvest, especially at a time when other recent mainstream films have done that. Colonel's nature is perhaps closest to Shah's own, impatient, kind-hearted, sensitive (minus the marijuana farmer profession), and is the film's only saving grace.
Rarely does one come out of a film wishing one didn't have to review it. Really, what was the director smoking!
**Film: The Blueberry Hunt
Director: Anup Kurian
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Aahana Kumra, Vipin Sharma