Language – Malayalam
Director – Mahesh Narayan
Writer – Mahesh Narayan
Cast – Fahadh Faasil, Darshana Rajendran, Roshan Mathew
Malayalam cinema has always been open to experiments, be it in trying out new ways of storytelling or trying out newer technologies alien to Indian cinema. The 1982 epic Padayottam directed by Jijo and produced by the famous Navodaya studio was the 1st 70mm film in India, in 1984 the same director-producer duo teamed up to give India its first 3D film ‘My Dear Kuttichathan’ which was a pan Indian success and in 1993 ‘O Faby’ directed by Sreekuttan was India’s first live action/animation hybrid film. The latest Mahesh Narayanan directed ‘C U Soon’ is another addition to this esteemed list as it takes up a genre never tested in Indian feature films – ‘Screen Life’.
At the surface of it, C U Soon is a thriller much like its American source of inspiration, ‘Searching’ where the leads are trying to find out the reason behind the disappearance of their loved one but if one looks beyond the obvious this is also a serious romantic film. The full-on virtual mode of storytelling helps it to achieve the mode of an edgy thriller and the confusions and reactions become very genuine as and when certain revelations happen on our ‘screens’. Mahesh Narayan, the director and editor of the film needs to be appreciated for planning something as complex as this and executing it in the best of ways possible. Once the film ends you might wonder if there was a superior way in which this story could have been told with the sort of impact it has already created on us and therein lies the success of ‘C U Soon’. The performances are top notch here with Fahadh doing what he does best – getting into the skin of the character, Roshan once again proving why he is an asset to our industry but it is Darshana who steals this virtual show with her sensitive portrayal of Anu. She is instantly likeable irrespective of the mysteries surrounding her and the film hugely benefits from her brilliant and measured performance.
Despite being shot amidst a life-threatening pandemic and irrespective of being an experiment, the makers have left no stone unturned to make the events and places look as authentic as possible given a major part of the film occurs in UAE. At the end of 98 minutes, C U Soon just leaves us with one question– ‘How the hell did they pull this off?’ and there lies the success of this engrossing and captivating experiment. A perfect OTT watch.
Verdict – 6/7 stars.
- The film was shot entirely on an iPhone in Kerala, India between May and July 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The film took three weeks to shoot but two months to edit.
- Direction, Story, Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, by Mahesh Narayan.
- Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA) was opposed to the shoot with regards to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, filming was successfully completed on August 21 2020.