A pretentious little film that’s so cliche ridden, you wish the four friends who have set out for the hills in search of a ‘legendary’ drug to smoke up, fall off some cliff.
‘This film is about drugs and alcohol, but it will be in ‘art’ space.’
The moment that is decided, then you also know the fate of the four protagonists of the film whose stories are so hysterically mundane, you find yourself napping.
Napping, opening eyes, finding nothing has really happened, napping, opening eyes, discovering empty coffee cup in your hand cannot keep you awake.
And there’s plenty to keep you awake: poetry, sex, views of the Himalayas. The film fails here too.
The poetry is something you might here at open mic gigs at pubs: ‘we are but sunshine on blades of grass’. You want to mow that lawn where the grass is growing!
The sex is so tacky, not even a soft focus long shot of naked Ira Dubey is enough to make you happy.
There’s not a single breath-taking view of the Himalayas, and anyone who’s been up there in Uttarakhand knows the mountains are gob-stoppingly awe-inspiring. That’s because the four are shown ‘tripping’ on LSD in ways only film people know how. You have seen such ‘scenes’ in many b-grade Bollywood masala films where they want to show how heroine or the sister of the hero has been ‘drugged’ by the villain in order to rape them… You cannot unsee this ‘throw your head back and sway in slow motion’ type acting.
Neither can you understand how Imaad Shah is supposed to be a wonderful actor when all he does is throws his head back to squint into the sun (even if the scene is set in the evening), and spout supposed intelligent stuff like, ‘You’re a hypocritical dumbo’. For someone shown to be drinking rum straight from the bottle at all times, it’s a miracle he wakes up in the morning to then drink tea. And the whisky drinking scene with ‘save the trees’ activist is so bad, phone videos made for Facebook of Goa trips are nicer.
And yes, the activist is a ‘foreign’ journalist, the drug infused people infesting the hills are all ‘foreigners’ with backpacks who start a ‘German bakery’ even if they are from Louisiana, the four protagonists too are stereotypes: one is a rich girl with a farmhouse and a jeep, the boyfriend is a photographer who tries too hard to be cool and drunk, the third is a lad with hair and bottle of rum in his hand and writes poetry in a diary, pages of which he mostly tears and crumples (someone told them poets/writers crumple pages in little balls all around them), and the fourth is a girl who is an upright ‘I don’t smoke but I can pass the doobie’ type person, who wants to interview Tibetan exiles… If you think these are cliches, then imagining suffering their drunken scenes and smoked up scenes and insult first kiss later scenes, and driving through winding roads and getting lost scenes…
And when they do reach more guitar playing firang circles who are happy to pass the chillum, the movie ends. Before expletives escape your mildly surprised, lulled by boredom head, you are helped by someone who informs you that the film has been around in cans for the last three or four years. Maybe it should have stayed there.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)