A reclusive man, simply referred to as Colonel (Naseeruddin Shah) is secretly cultivating highly potent marijuana on 30-odd acres of agrarian land in a remote part of Kerala. His Blueberry skunk seems to be of particular interest to some unsavoury sorts, who track down the Colonel’s farm and are determined to eliminate him just as the crop is about to be harvested.

Colonel loves his plants. He nurtures them by talking to them and painstakingly tending to them. But Colonel and his antecedents remain a mystery. He sports annoyingly long and unruly dreadlocks and banters with his pet German Shepherd. He occasionally rides his motorbike into the nearby small town, but mostly has his monthly supplies brought to him by a local named George, who acts as his agent.

But when George breaks the rules and brings buyer Sett (Vipin Sharma) to the farm, danger comes too close and upsets Colonel’s finely balanced life. Five days before the crop is harvested, Sett drops off an abducted girl (Aahana Kumra) at the farm and beseeches Colonel to protect her from harm for just a few days. We never do find out what the purpose of this is, besides softening Colonel and distracting him from the safety and security of his crop. The girl and Colonel become friends. She is so comfortable with him that she not only cooks him a three-course meal, but also waters his precious plants while singing a Bollywood-type song. Confused? So was I.

The assassins appear frequently and eventually outwit Colonel. Shah is somewhat hampered by the dangling dreads, and the role requires a great deal of agility from him—running, leaping, shooting, etc. The scenes between Kumra and Shah are tightly choreographed, but a tad too theatrical.

The Blueberry Hunt is director Anup Kurian’s second film. The story is skeletal and vague; the production is hampered by a low budget; and the score, by Paresh and Naresh Kamath, is an upbeat one that sounds comedic during what are supposed to be tense scenes, as if we weren’t confused enough already.

The Blueberry Hunt released in theatres on Friday

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