Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Saiju Kurup, Roshan Mathew, Darshana Rajendran, Maala Parvathi, Amalda Liz
Director: Mahesh Narayanan
YesPost ranking: 3/5
We haven’t seen any releases in theatres for some months and it is pretty normal considering the current situation. Yet there was a palpable impatience and urgency among us as the Covid-19 stalemate lingered on. And the crew of C U Soon, which premiered on Amazon Prime, seemed to know it better. They used the limited resources under lockdown and produced a decent watch for us which turned out to be the best movie released this year.
At the heart of C U Soon is a thread that you would see in any other suspense thrillers; it keeps you guessing until the secret is revealed. Such movies mostly end with the cat being out of the bag, unless the makers stretch them with another twist in the narrative. C U Soon treads the same line with a familiar plot that has been tried and tested for generations. On a deeper look, we find nothing particularly thrilling about this thriller.
What sets apart this Mahesh Narayanan’s flick is the novel storytelling device. Almost everything we see unfolds as windows within Windows, and the movie navigates by means of Duo and Skype video calls, Google chats and occasional phone calls. Every shot of C U Soon plays out on a screen – a computer, a phone, through the lens of an iPhone camera. The clever approach to character building worked well and it is very much on display when Kevin Thomas (Fahadh Faasil) invades the privacy of Anumol (Darshana Rajendran) with his technical expertise.
It is not an entirely new genre; Searching has done it before this with the same theme and Unfriended before it. But C U Soon is rather new to Indian cinema and the narrative style has been unexplored until lockdown sets the stage for Narayanan. This is a meticulously made laptop-based thriller shot mostly by an iPhone which goes about unearthing the secrets of a woman who Jimmy Kurien (Roshan Mathew) has met on matchmaking site Tinder.
The movie begins with Jimmy scanning a number of pictures until he finally settles with one of Anumol’s on Tinder and he soon strikes a convo with her. That he quickly begins chatting with her and even asks for a video call soon after is disturbing enough, but speaks very much about the relationships in the age of dating apps and social media. He asks his cousin Kevin to hack into her social media account and make a detailed enquiry because he wants to marry her. After doing some investigation, Kevin gives Jimmy the go-ahead and the plot really takes off from that point.
The film makes a change of tone when Anumol video calls Jimmy showing a bloody bruised face which she claimed was the act of her father. He invites her to his apartment where they live together for some days before she disappears mysteriously. The scenes mostly take place in Dubai and occasionally shift to the US. Saiju Kurup, who plays as doctor in the movie, makes some appearances as his friend who reminds him of the danger he may invite by living with Anumol without marriage registration.
The movie peaks as a suspense thriller when Kevin once again pokes his head into Anumol’s facebook page and chat history after her disappearance lands Jimmy in some real trouble. The search for Anumol true identity keeps us hooked to the very last scene of the movie as Kevin continues to crunch on the keyboards, unraveling startling secrets about her one by one. It is a life lesson of sorts for both Jimmy and Kevin when they finally realise that they were wrong about Anumol. While one was guilty of blindly believing his cousin and falling into a trap, the other made a mistake by taking things lightly.
The movie subtly shows how much we are eaten up by technology, which, while making our lives easier and faster, can be a serious danger. The combination of clever concept reflecting the presence of the screens and mobile in everyday life, and a talented Fahad producing varied emotions once he finds out that she is victim of sex trafficking is a pleasure to watch. Roshan Mathew has blossomed into a matured actor and looked really in fine touch especially in scenes where he panics after realising that the Dubai police are on his trail for Anumol’s disappearance. C U Soon is an engaging feature and sets a trend which is likely to be followed by many in future.