Sunday, April 17, 2005

CU at 9 

No other decent release, and sheer optimism – misplaced, as it turned out—led one to attempt Marlon Rodrigues’ CU at 9. The director with a reputation as a good music video maker, the title in trendy sms lingo, a hunky model and Southern starlet as the lead actors—just how bad could it be?

Never, never wonder how bad a film could possibly be—the answer always surpasses your wildest guess. CU at 9 has the quick cuts, jerky camerawork and random imagery of the music video, but no plot to speak of. The director is obviously fascinated by the B-grade slasher movies from Hollywood, but even the worst ones have some conventions and a fast pace is one of them. The incoherent, slow, manner in which this film unfolds, does nothing to alleviate the viewer’s boredom and repugnance at the grisly violence (censors allowed shots of tongues being chopped off and limbs being eaten!).

Romeo (Isaiah—model, male ‘beauty contest’ winner, and hunk of the John Abraham variety) is a director of cheap horror flicks, the kind in which bikini babes dismember screaming men, lots of blood drips about, as a man slurps on a human arm!
For some reason, not explained, a breathless female calls Romeo and asks to meet her at nine. Finally, despite warnings from his besotted assistant, he does see her in a dingy restaurant, with an out-of-focus waiter and no other patrons. The girl called Kim (Shweta) looks like one of those ‘undead’ creatures from a horror movie, and Romeo falls head over heels in love with her.

Then he meets Kim’s tarty twin called Juliet and is seduced by her, which understandably annoys Kim no end. She vanishes from his life, and he lurches about drunk, till the assistant sensibly suggests that they look for her address via her number.

Her house, in typical horror film style is a ramshackle, cobwebby cottage in the middle of nowhere, but it has an old rotary phone that rings with a startling noise. Girls in these films never have the brains to run when they find themselves in a house awash with blood and falling corpses. So the assistant dies a gruesome death and what happens to Romeo is to be seen to be believed – not that it is worth seeing!

Whoever is brave enough to sit through this one—and no, the sex scenes are not enough reason— and survives without wanting to throw up, deserves an award for courage.


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