What if your smartphone, that tiny piece of gadget you can't live without, is possessed? What if it starts giving you a countdown of the days remaining in your life? Manju Warrier's latest release Chathurmukham explores this spooky thread and gives you a neatly crafted horror experience.
There's nothing much in Chathurmukham that would shock you as you may expect from the genre. However, its novel plot, well-written script and the stellar performance of Manju Warrier are adequate to keep you edge of the seat throughout.
Thrillers and horror flicks revolving around phones are not new to world cinema. The director-duo Ranjeet Kamala Sanker and Salil V has brought the theme to the Malayalam canvass apparently for the first time and executed a film with fineness in all aspects.
Thejaswini (Manju Warrier) runs a CCTV camera business along with her friend Antony (Sunny Wayne). An Instagram freak, Thejaswini loses her phone in a strange situation. She buys a new one online and all the troubles start. The story moves forward as Antony seeks the help of Clement (Alencier Ley Lopez), a scientist, to find a solution to the mysterious problem his friend is caught in. Clement, in his own words, tries to find a scientific solution to a problem science can't explain. What unfolds as the film progresses is an intriguing new-age urban legend which has despair, revenge and resilience at its core.
The script by Abhayakumar K and Anil Kurian is the backbone of the film. The way they have arranged the sequences braving the potential temptation to fall into the trap of cliches keeps the mood of the film intact. Manju Warrier once again proves that she can shoulder a film all alone provided the directorial and script departments are strong enough. Apart from Manju Warrier, Sunny Wayne and Alencier occupy the maximum screen space and deliver the kind of matured performance expected from them. Navas Vallikkunnu deserves special mention for running a minimalistic yet impressive comic track.
Abhinandan Ramanujam's cinematography, capturing the realistic as well as fantasy elements alike, and Nimesh Thanur's art direction add much to the directors' attempt to make the film a convincing make-belief narrative.