India’s ‘lockdown film’ is an edgy thriller
In late April, when life and work in India stalled under lockdown, a young director decided to make his next film.
Theatres were shut and more than 60 films made in the southern state of Kerala, where he lives, were languishing in the cans. But that did not deter Mahesh Narayanan, who makes films in the Malayalam language.
The 38-year-old director wrote a script, roped in a popular actor who backed the project as a producer, and gathered a small cast and production crew of 50 people. The film was shot in three weeks in six apartments located in a residential building in the city of Cochin. The apartments served as the film’s sets, offices, production hub, and residence for the cast and crew.
Abiding by social distancing rules and mostly filming with iPhones, Narayanan completed the film in just 22 days.
C U Soon, a suspense drama, is one of India’s first “made-at-home” films following the lockdown. Released last week on streaming giant Amazon Prime Video, it is an unusual Indian film. At 90 minutes, it has a runtime which is a third shorter than a usual commercial release, and it has no song and dances.