The director who kick started the trend of new generation movies , Aashiq Abu, is back with a movie that chronicles the fun and taste of a bygone generation who at fifties, is trying to catch the spirit of their thrilling adolescence. A novel attempt in any count for its actors, storyline and narrative structure, 'Idukki Gold' is a movie that can be prescribed for an onetime watch. Also another film that can be listed among the recent trend of 'stoner' movies (Kili Poyi, Honey Bee....to name a few), the movie has drugs as its backdrop, but limits any coarse language and unqualified attempts on wits.
Idukki Gold told as five different episodes, opens with Micheal (prathap Pothen) coming back from the former Czehosolovakia to track his estranged old friends who were with him during his school days at the resident convent , St Aloysius at Idukki. He places an advertisement on a popular daily and finds Madan(Manianpillai Raju) , a planter and K C Ravi (Raveendran) a photo studio owner, in a day. Together they set out in their old standard van to find the rest of the gang Antony (Babu Antony) and Raman (Vijayaragahavan). After some interesting episodes they find Antony, who is running restaurant with his French wife at Kochy and Raman, a government servant, now all set to start a new life with a new partner. After their initials celebrations they now decides to have a visit to their old school at Idukki, where they used to have the taste of the 'IdukkiGold', the special ganga plant reared near the dam premises. But little did they knew that there were some more who were patiently waiting for the gang to return even after 35 years.
The story by Santhosh Echikkanam qualifies for a interesting film but the scripts by Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair, especially at the climax loses the grip and tumbles down in minutes. The movie is packed with many nice moments and fine short dialogues are the highlights all through. A satirical look at the attempts to catch the air of nostalgia, the comedies that is centred on the eighties and the treatment that gives the feel of a rustic flick and the added effects definitely boast of the finesses of the director in Aashiq Abu. Much of the undetailed side stories of the lead men are presented just in a dialogue or so and this implicit and unforced nature of storytelling is the prevalent speciality of its presentations. But what that may not be acceptable for the general public will be the promotion of drugs in the name of entertainment. Even a song is visualised on the colourful effects (though a bit more than realistic) of the drug use, which in fact may induce and invite the ordinary youth to take a chance. But if you can ignore this morality speeches and policing, 'Idukky Gold' can be another worthy addition to Asshiq Abu's list of experiments with themes and actors.
The performance by the five seniors and the juniors are what that pushes the movie without much turbulence. Raveendran steals the show with his one-liners while the others are also effective. The ladies, Praseetha and Sajitha Madathil' doesn't have any big roles to cherish. The songs and BG scores by Biji pal are effective and come up at the right moments. Shyju Khaalid as usual is exceptional with his camera, especially the shots that opens at the enormous grotto and the dam sides, while V Saajan in editing was able to amplify the mood and retro feel of the flick.
Though this 'Idukki Gold' doesn't end up as a movie that is a definite prescription for all, the meticulousness with which it is made and the feel of real life makes it special for an one-time watch. Connoisseurs, don't go by the initial bad word of mouth, this is one that may satisfy you for being an Aashiq Abu fan.
Rating - 6.0/10