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C U Soon - A Review

There is a scene. A webcam on top of a PC that’s in Kevin Thomas’s (Fahadh Faasil) bedroom is well-positioned to take in nearly the whole expanse of his room. Where he throws his clothes can be seen. There is even a laundry basket in the distance that is overfilled with clothes by a house help as he cleans the room. But the basket is never taken out for a wash. That kind of stays in my mind.

Same room. An evening. And his boss cum lover happens to walk in to find out what he’s doing. She enters from the left where presumably the main door is and again leaves from the same side. He looks at her from his chair and looks back at what is there on the computer. It’s like a hotel room, I suddenly feel. Not someone’s residence. Little things start to jar.

But the idea is good. A story, completely done through webcams and smartphone cams. As people talk and respond over video chats – Google Duo (the guys must have paid the entire cost of production) is used majorly between Jimmy (Roshan Mathew) and Anumol (Darshana Rajendran) to bring about a Tinder led instant romance. They decide to marry within a week. Jimmy wants her to meet his mom. That’s where the story takes a turn as the Mother wants a background check and enters Kevin who is a computer geek, some kind of an ethical hacker, who needs to do this for his friend. He finds nothing at first but he is wrong. She is doing a whole lot of things that fox Kevin.

It is in the execution that the film and its adventurous director falters that bit. Stories like this need a good story on the grey or black side too. Otherwise, it will look like “much ado about nothing”. Around an hour into the film, I knew the ending too and that is unpardonable. The twists should be well thought out and the idea of some shady stuff should be deep and detailed. Showing Jimmy’s panicked face again and again or showing Kevin’s brooding character wiping his head in thought time and again doesn’t bear well for a thriller like this.

Was the idea shackled by a film story actually being done in the lockdown phase and everything had to be indoors? Maybe. I will give that to the writer and director Mahesh Narayanan. The idea was brilliant, but the writing does not hold water.

Fahadh does well, his English diction is a pleasant listen and so does Roshan but their scopes are limited whereas Darshana is the one who’s in the thick of all action. She is reasonably good. Gopi Sundar does the Background Score and music and he does a fabulous job. You can watch it just for the BGM.

The true star in the average feature is the production design or the sparseness of it in most cases. This is where the film can be an education for enthusiasts trying to make their first film with their mobile cameras. Everything is just as unkempt and normal as you would see in middle-class homes of yuppies. The USB drive being searched for amongst papers and wires. The ashtray near the bed. The water bottles here and there. Brilliant work.

A movie that can be a slate for better things to come in this age of Insta Reels.

- Indraneel Majumdar

Language – Malayalam

Available on Amazon Prime

Stars - **1/2

Director/Screenplay - Mahesh Narayanan

Actors: Fahadh Faasil, Roshan Mathew,Darshana Rajendran, Saiju Kurup, Amalda Liz and Maala Parvathi

Production: Fahadh Faasil

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