Watching the gorgeous-looking Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi today is the closest one can get to the feeling of stepping out and going for a morning run, and hot tea right after. Inspired (in the truest sense of the word) from The Motorcycle Diaries, this 2013 film directed by Sameer Thahir traces the journey of Kaasi (Dulquer Salmaan) and Suni (Sunny Wayne) on their bikes as they travel from Kerala to Nagaland in search of Kaasi's girlfriend. Along the way, we pass through Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Sikkim, with a different kind of adventure waiting for them in each detour.
If dealing with severe cravings during 'food shots' in movies and shows proved a major challenge during the first few days of the lockdown, this feeling has widened to include a desperate need to go outside and just see the world again. Just like the shot in Gladiator where Russel Crowe's hands brush stalks of golden-coloured wheat as he inches closer home, it looks like most of us have built up our versions of this sentiment with a plan already made to go to a particular beach, a park or a hill station once all this is over. But with talk of the lockdown getting extended, the idea of going to a home outside of home seems more distant.
In such a state, a film that talks about the long road as home might come in handy. Given the changes all of us are going through, it's likely that a lot of us finally commit to trips and dreams that have been put off for years. If a road trip with a buddy was one of them, watch this movie so that you can take this time to work out the details to make that trip happen a few months from now.
Shot by Girish Gangadharan (Sarkar, Jallikattu), with extensive stretches in the magic hour light of dawn and dusk, the film is a living, breathing picture postcard that will have you feel the wind blowing on your face. It may have its set of flaws, but it's certainly a film worth watching, at least as a balm to cure one's wanderlust.