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Review Malayalam

C U Soon review: Fahadh Faasil’s film is experimental but rewarding

Release Date: 01 Sep 2020

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Haricharan Pudipeddi

Though cut from the same cloth as Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching (2018), Mahesh’s film is far more effective because of the emotional depth it adds to the characters.

C U Soon, from writer-director Mahesh Narayanan, is one of the best Indian films to have been released during the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown. Apart from the fact that it’s a film completely shot during the lockdown on iPhones, what really sets it apart is its experimental tone and how it uses a set of digital screens to deliver a taut, genre-breaking viewing experience.

Though the film has been cut from the same cloth as Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching (2018), Mahesh’s film is far more effective because of the emotional depth it adds to the characters, allowing the viewer to virtually feel what it’s like to see a mystery thriller completely unfold on a few screens.

The film opens on the phone screen of Jimmy Kurian (Roshan Mathew) as he casually swipes through profiles of women on Tinder. He quickly matches with Anu (Darshana Rajendran) and, before we know it, they are doing video calls on Google Duo.

Everything happens very quickly and it makes one wonder how these things can happen so fast. But it later makes sense why they matched and fell in love so quickly. Jimmy proposes to Anu on a video call in the presence of his mother, who ropes in Jimmy’s cousin Kevin Thomas (Fahadh Faasil), a cyber security expert, to dig deep and find out more about Anu.

Though uncomfortable with the idea of invading someone’s data privacy, Kevin gives in for his aunt's sake. In no time, he manages to find all the necessary information and declare Anu as “very authentic”.

However, trouble brews after Anu disappears mysteriously after spending a week with Jimmy, and the alarming video note she leaves behind makes things worse. Kevin has to find out what happened to Anu; in the process, he unravels several dark secrets.

Though C U Soon is a thriller at heart, it’s also a film that throws the spotlight on the idea of relationships in the age of social media and dating apps. The film successfully manages to help us differentiate between what we see and hear in a world where the role of technology is yet to be completely justified. C U Soon shows that technology can be both a boon and a bane. It beautifully establishes how technology has consumed our lives and some of us are already paying the price for it.

As the search for Anu begins, as a viewer you are hooked right till the end. There is a sense of urgency to find out what happened to Anu and it feels like a race against time. The tension gets stronger with every running minute and with every window or screen Kevin opens as he investigates her disappearance.

Fahadh Faasil, known to deliver so much of a character with just his eyes, makes the character of Kevin even more interesting than it already is with his terrific performance. In one scene, he is called a misogynist by his female colleague but it doesn’t take much time to realize that circumstances can change a person.

Roshan Mathew is equally good. He is fast becoming one of the more exciting actors to watch out for in Malayalam cinema.

C U Soon is now available on Amazon Prime Video.

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