A few days ago, a Malayalam movie titled “C U Soon” was released on Amazon Prime. Many of you might have already watched the movie, but even if you haven’t, here are three reasons why I think that movie was brilliant. No spoilers, trust me!
It’s best to watch the movie without knowing anything about the synopsis. I’ve always found that to be the case with the best thriller movies, but sadly we live in a world where most content is consumed after we’ve checked out a brief summary. Thankfully, thanks to the tight pacing and surprisingly trim run time (the movie lasts less than 100 minutes!) it’s possible to enjoy the movie even if you know the basic concept.
The story of “C U Soon” is plucked straight from the headlines, which is all the more fascinating, because many people I know were surprised that the things portrayed on screen actually happened in real life. It’s the kind of story that definitely needs a spotlight, and it’s great to see a Malayalam movie constructed upon a real-life issue that’s often ignored or pushed to the fringes of our collective conscience.
If you’ve seen the trailer, you probably already know that the movie is an example of a “Screenlife” mystery. Basically the whole film is composed of visuals that appear on a computer/laptop screen. Yes, I’m sure there will be someone (and even I’m guilty of this!) who’ll promptly chime that Hollywood did the same thing with “Searching”. Yes, that is a brilliant movie, but “C U Soon” is a worthy addition to that genre as well.
This movie was shot in 18 days, using an iPhone, during the pandemic. Read that line again, and perhaps like me, you’ll feel a surge of inspiration. It’s heartening to know that the most monumentally confusing global event in our lifetimes didn’t deter a group of people from coming together and creating a piece of art that’s worth both watching and admiring. Malayalam cinema has often been criticized in the past for being slow and out-of-touch with public taste and perception. This movie proves that doesn’t have to be the case anymore.
This is the first time I considered acquiring an Amazon Prime membership. Malayalam movies have been released on streaming platforms for a while now, and many have found viewers online after concluding an underwhelming run in cinema screens.
But the collective interest generated by “C U Soon” was something fascinating. People were watching a Malayalam movie within the first few days of it “dropping” online rather than choosing it over a longer span of time due to curiosity or persistent word of mouth. It served as a reminder that there is a huge audience out there ready to watch Malayalam movies from the comfort of their homes. Hopefully, this prompts the streaming service giants like Netflix and Amazon India to directly fund and distribute Malayalam movies that are unlike their big screen competitors: experimental, bold, catered to a niche audience.
Watching countless Instagram stories that had Fahadh Faasil staring at me from T.V. screens also made me hopeful of something else. Hopefully, sooner than later, Malayalam movie stars will begin producing and starring in television series!
Watching “C U Soon” reminded me of when I saw “Traffic”. It not only entertained me, it inspired me. It made me excited for what was in store. As though there was a new season about to begin in the industry. Maybe I’m wrong and this will just be a 98 minute experimental thriller that entertains enough people online before they move onto the next entertainment option.
Or…it’ll act as a reminder to aspiring screenwriters, directors and actors that our circumstances don’t have to confine us and that the limitations in filmmaking can become advantages. It’ll excite the executives who see the viewership stats for this movie and prompt them to bankroll more projects, take more risks, actively work to cultivate a Malayali audience rather than simply cater to them. It’ll give Malayalis a taste for new genres, new experimental styles of filmmaking, and most importantly, the ability to watch them on a regular basis, perhaps in the form of television episodes!
Only time will tell what’ll happen, but if you have 98 minutes of it to spare, here’s a great way to spend it. Watch “C U Soon” on Amazon Prime!
And if you have time, check out Marwan Razzaq’s crime thriller “The Man Who Found His Shadow”, which he hopes will someday be made into a movie! Available in Amazon now!