Cast: Arjun Mathur, Mohan Kapoor, Sugandha Garg, nandini Sen, Ishwari Bose Bhattacharya, Sharath Parvathani
Director: Manu Warrier
Rating: * * *
A self-searching, getting-in-touch-with-your-roots, coming-of-age gamble about a young man Dev Anand(Arjun Mathur) who sells off his hereditary coffee plantation in an attempt at renunciation from worldly cares and past turbulences. But when his mother dies heart-broken, he feels the pain and decides to make amends before he can scatter away her ashes.
His return to the bucolic plantation brings him face-to-face with a past that he had so far run away from. And the plantation he had sold happens to be owned by his past lover’s husband, Vasu (Mohan Kapoor). Dev, it seems , has never gotten over the feelings he had for Anika(Sugandha Garg) and she too has repressed feelings waiting to bubble-up to the surface.
As a young couple, they were torn apart by an aborted attempt at suicide and now as mature adults, they are waiting to break free from societal ties that strangulate the expression of feelings for each other. Complicating matters further is the fourth person, a keep/mistress(Ishwari Bose Bhattacharya) who does her bit to spice things up.
The setting is tranquil and deep, the calming peace of a coffee plantation in Coorg, disturbed by burgeoning of repressed emotions and tempered dramatics.
When an embittered Dev revisits his old haunt, Thaa Mane, he does so with the hope of finding absolution from a guilt that has him so curdled in self-denial. But on reaching there, he gets waylaid by a past that crops up in his present. His old sweetheart, Anika, requests his help in supporting her husband , Vasu with their first crop. Dev reluctantly takes her up on the offer and from therein unravels the truth about their past and the turbulence in the present.
The scripting is well proportioned, allowing for a affect tempered narrative that blossoms out into an interesting and rewarding climactic spiel. The music plays a very subordinate, supportive role allowing for words and emotions to capture the imagination without hampering effect. Arjun Mathur has grown with every film he has done and in this he gives his most intense and engaging performance yet. Sugandha Garg suits up quite well on the emotional front while Mohan Kapoor too manages to stay distinct and impressive. Manu Warrier’s direction is assured. The form he adopts for the telling of this tale is quite ingenious and his technique is quite spiffy too. For those willing to venture in this off-beat experience, the rewards would be worthy for sure!