Film: Coffee Bloom
Director: Manu Warrier
Cast: Arjun Mathur, Sugandha Garg, Mohan Kapoor
A teenage love lost due to the stupidities of the age. Nothing unusual in that. A lot of films have been made on this theme and one finds it in Manu Warrier's directorial debut Coffee Bloom as well. But what makes this film a novel experience is its backdrop, a coffee plantation. An interesting aspect of small-budget films is that they exploit unexplored genres and milieu, undeterred by traditions of the 'mainstream cinema'. This aspect comes to the fore once again in Coffee Bloom.
Coffee Bloom, a journey of self-discovery and the struggles of love woven into the story, could as easily have been set in a mango orchard or a tea plantation. But the beauty of a coffee plantation in Coorg brings a freshness that would have been lost in a mango orchard or a tea plantation.
It is the story of Dev (Arjun Mathur) who is a wannabe sanyasi, not interested in jobs or everyday routine others consider normal. He just loves lazying around, putting on his headphones listening to philosophical/spiritual sermons on detachment. After his mother dies, Dev is forced to go back to the coffee estate his family once owned, only to realise that his ex-girlfriend Anika (Sugandha Garg) and her husband (Mohan Kapoor) are the current owners. The perpetually lost soul that Dev is, he is now torn between the two loves of his life - the girl and the coffee plants. As a coffee expert, will he help Anika's coffee crop or will he avenge his lost love, ignoring his passion for the brown beans and the land where he grew up? Coffee Bloom traces this eventful, life-changing journey of Dev.
The film has a sense of warmth that ensures the audience would not want to ditch it half-way. However, the pace is a little slow - something associated with the movies that premiere at festivals before hitting theatres. Coffee Bloom premiered at the Mumbai Film Festival 2014.