1st September 2020

C U Soon Review: A Gripping & Moving Thriller

C  U Soon(Amazon  Prime)

Starring  Fahad Faasil,  Roshan Mathew, Darshana Rajendran

Written  & directed  by  Mahesh Naryanan

Rating: ****

Thank God  for happy endings. Well, almost. This  thriller  about an online dating  plan gone horribly  wrong, has a whole lot of balls, plus  a steadily beating heart.And it ends on a bright note. We need  that.

The important  detail that we  must remember is  that  the whole 98-minute film has been  shot  on IPhones. So now we finally know why they are called smartphones. This  is as smart  a thriller as they come with some of Malayalam cinema’s finest young talent pitching in with  a conviction born  out of isolation.

 Not surprisingly the well thought-out thriller simulates a taut  tempo  at a slow-burn temperature. Since the world is  under a lockdown  none  of  the characters  is in a hurry to  go anywhere. The  plot, done up entirely in a virtual format,  takes its time to  whip up a frenetic  anxiety . By the time we reach  the devastating climax, there is  no escaping from the film’s  vice-like grip on  our senses.

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A piano-based deceptively calm and soothing background score by Gopi Sunder goes a  long way  in  getting our undivided  attention as love-stuck Jimmy (Roshan Mathew) befriends the troubled Anu(Darshana Rajendran) in Dubai on the digital platform.

Remarkably  the  entire romance and the  horrific aftermath  unfolds through images on computers and phones . This is an ingenious  invention born  out of  necessity as  the film is shot  in quarantine. At the same time that sense of virtual disengagement  gives  a muscular  immediacy  to the narrative.

The  actors get into  the  mysterious melancholic  mood effortlessly. I could almost feel Roshan Mathew and  Darshana Rajendran’s growing fondness  . Mathew ,so brilliant recently  in   Moothon , Kapela and  Choked, is growing into one  of  the most interesting actors in the country.

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But here it is the redoubtable Fahadh  Faasil who holds this robust thriller together. The way his  muted misogyny—his  horribly rude attitude towards his girlfriend—melts  and merges into a mass of repentance and guilt, is  a journey  undertaken  by an actor who  doesn’t stop at anything  in bringing his  character’s most secret demons on  the table.

C U Soon is  a very clever yarn  told through a  hi-tech  vision which  has  no room for extra baggage. This is flab-free thriller that shows us how constructively  new-age technology can be used  to  tell a story won’t let go of our attention  for even a  second. The last  film I saw which was shot completely on the phone was Aneesh Chaganty’s brilliant  Searching about a father’s frantic  search for  his missing daughter.

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In C U Soon too a girl disappears.But not for  long. This is  a thriller  that doesn’t play out  a  tantalizing  drama . It  moves at its own volition sweeping its characters into a  situation that has no room for theatrics. Just plain blunt  facts plucked from newspapers. The rest is his  story more than hers.

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