C U at 9 (Review)

C U at 9


2005
Starring
Shweta Konnur as Kim/Juliet
Isiah as Romeo
Kanksha as Sue
Written and Directed by Marlon Rodrigues (aka Marlon Hoden)

Bollywood produces the most movies each year, many of which never are seen outside the country. Most wouldn’t work outside of India, Bollywood films are famous for having musical numbers scattered throughout, even advancing the plot. Most other cultures would balk at a serious crime drama suddenly turning into a choreographed song fest, but to each their own. Bollywood films are starting to become more mainstream, in that some are being imported over to America. Films that are well done from Bollywood still have an audience here, and it is rapidly growing. Some films to come out of Bollywood are deservedly not even fit for Bollywood itself. You can probably figure out from the title that this is one of them. C U at 9 goes down in history as one of the worst titles ever, joining such luminaries as .com for Murder. The title alone isn’t enough to have C U at 9 go down in flames, the movie itself is a cheeseball horror movie which borrows heavily from some recent popular Asian movies. Very heavily. Add to that the director substituted three music videos in place of choreographed singing. The editing from the music videos was unfortunately used in 100% of the film, giving C U at 9 a feel of scene jerking so bad you’ll get whiplash if you aren’t careful. The jumpcuts fly so fast I’m currently wearing a neck brace.



Lots of shots of phones ringing and calls being called permeate the beginning sequence. A whispered women’s voice asks “Can you see me at 9?” “Sorry, wrong number,” replies everyone she reaches. Maybe she’s asking “Cn U C Me @ 9?” wait…[email protected]? Is it part of an email name? Our hero is one of the people called, he’s named Romeo. The movie is tragically ironic. Because it’s trying to be tragically ironic, and fails, and that’s ironic. Maybe. Or maybe I am incorrect on that being ironic, ironically enough. It’s like rain, on your wedding day… The rapid calls are the beginning of the rapid editing and cuts in the film, and they continue in a pace faster than a second hand on a watch. As the movie jumps back and forth between English and Hindi (I think it’s Hindi…), Romeo has a slight accent which drags against his “suave” factor a bit when it kicks in heavy. The actor playing him is named Isiah, who I know nothing about. Doing research for films I’m watching is hard work, and I’m lazy. That’s why my reviews are so short! Romeo is a director of movies, showing that the writer/director Marlon Rodrigues (or Marlon Hoden as he’s also known as) doesn’t have a big imagination. He has a wallflower female Assistant Director named Sue (played by a woman named Kanksha). Sue is one of those women who are supermodels but put on a pair of glasses and suddenly become completely undesirable. This only happens in Hollywood movies, so it’s interesting to see it also happen in Bollywood. In real life, Sue would have men beating down her door just to breathe in air she exhaled. But to Romeo, she’s all but invisible (except when he’s grabbing her butt…uh…) so he uses the “Received Calls” function on the phone to call back the “Can you see me at 9?” lady and asks to see her at 9. Nice original line, buddy! Many horror films have a point where you ask the main character “Why did you do something so stupid?” and this is that time.

At the coffee bar at nine, the mysterious caller arrives! And she’s not hideous, a 70 year old man, a 8 year old boy, or Romeo’s Mother. She’s actually a hot babe! Her name is Kim, and she’s played by Shweta. Full name: Shweta Konnur. Is that Hindi for “Sarah Conner”? Because she probably has Indian Cyborgs chasing after her if so to kill her unborn child. But here in the movie world, she’s Kim, a shy girl who seems very nervous and scared, and looks down instead of straight ahead. Romeo is one of those guys who won’t shut up, so he keeps talking, blathering on about his name for a while. The director goes all arty to show they are having a bonding moment, and music plays over the conversation as the video quickly becomes a bunch of fade jumps, the jumps being less than a second of time. This is annoying as we then learn nothing about Kim, as we’re just supposed to assume she’s bonding when all we know of her is what few sentences she said before the tunes.

If you think the music replacing dialogue was bad, just wait, as the scenes have shifted to full on music video mode. As some singer sings about love and junk, we get scenes interspliced to show Romeo and Kim doing lovers’ things, like them sitting around, and sitting around. Kim also always is drawing some sort of six-pointed-star pentagram. While sitting around. The quick shots of them sitting in many different places shows us they were out a lot, as well as looking like a generic music video. Where’s the heart? It said “C U l8r, boi.” After the generic interlude (I will say it’s good that they just didn’t burst into song, so I am giving some credit) we get information that Kim will never let Romeo see her house. She mentions her parents are dead, and her and her sister were raised by their grandmother. Her twin sister. Named Juliet. Yep. The movie went there. Romeo and Juliet. Kim tells Romeo “Because my sister’s name is Juliet, it’s destiny for us to be lovers!” This causes Romeo to laugh at the absurdity of “Romeo and Kim” instead of “Romeo and Juliet.” And he laughs. And laughs. And laughs. And laughs. For like five minutes. They cut to Kim, and she’s crying with tears streaming down her face, but Romeo is still laughing his annoying smug laugh. What a disturbing scene. A healthy relationship this is not, but since it’s based on some guy returning a call to a crazy phoner, it’s to be expected.

The next date night, Kim is sick, but it was the night that Romeo was to meet Juliet. The night is still on, just that Romeo will go it alone with Juliet. They meet at the same place at 9, and Juliet comes waltzing in, clubbed up like she breathes raves, showing more skin than I thought possible without giving anything away, and hair set hot pink as if she needed anything besides her looks to stand out. Romeo just stares, mouth agape and cigarette dangling. It doesn’t take long for Romeo to start putting the moves on “Yeah, I know all the top producers…” They drink, they go dance, they smoke some weird stuff from some funnel looking style cigs (Indian Chronic? Opium? Some other thing?) and soon Romeo is banging Juliet on the roof of a car. Just like Shakespeare…

Back in the movie studio, Romeo confesses to Sue that he slept with Juliet. Sue is upset, not just because she’s annoyed he’s sleeping with Kim, but now another girl. Kim seemed to figure it out via a way not bothered to be revealed to us, the audience. So we get another music video interlude, this time it’s the “depressed guy sad about lost love” stock shots where Romeo lies about disheveled, drunk, with a 9 o’clock shadow and the only motivation seeming to be changing scenery every two seconds. Sue comes over to try to cheer him up, but he keeps calling Kim’s name. Eventually, it looks like he and Sue are about to kiss, when suddenly the phone rings with Kim on the other line. Romeo jumps up to answer it so fast he bloodies Sue’s nose, and does not even acknowledge what he just did. He goes to meet Kim at the coffee bar while Sue just bleeds and looks sad. Oh, Romeo…

Romeo rushes to the bar to meet Kim, however Kim is aloft, depressed, and states to the effect “Our love is clean like coffee! But Juliet is the milk virus that ruins it.” What kind of inane dialogue…? She yells at him some more, but they leave together and she showers at his place right before they get their freak on, but Romeo awakens to an empty bed. Great, now Romeo will be whining about Kim even more. More time jump cuts show Romeo drinking and being depressed, in case you haven’t figured out yet he’s obsessed, but not in love with her enough to not have sex with her identical twin sister on the hood of a car. Sue comes over to clean Romeo up, and they put their heads together to try to solve the mystery of Kim. When Romeo’s not trying to call Kim every five seconds. Sue suggests Romeo use the internet. Then they kiss and start to get it on, but Romeo is just seeing Kim, though that doesn’t stop him.

INTERMISSION!

Why was there an intermission? This film is pretty freaking short. You can understand an intermission for films like Seven Samurai but not this. Meh.

Romeo sobers up during the Intermission and decides to use Google. So he clicks on Internet Explorer, which causes the My Computer window to open…..wait….Romeo must have some spyware or something. Time to download AdAware! Somehow, Google is loaded up in IE, but thanks to the many jumpcuts that could have happened by Romeo clicking on his Bonzai Buddy and we’d never know. Romeo finds a symbol that matches the pendant that Juliet was wearing, it’s a symbol of St. Mary’s Catholic School. Romeo rushes over…”Father, can you tell me something about Kim and Juliet?” he asks the first person he sees. “Ah, Kim and Juliet!” they reply, telling us that in India Priests give out confidential information on students from ten years ago to random passersby, and must have this information memorized because Romeo gets and address without the priest checking the files.

Kim lives in the deep forest. So deep that the road is blocked off and Romeo has to hire a horse-drawn carriage to go to it. As the movie has decided to channel Snow White instead of Shakespeare now, we get lots of epic shots of Romeo riding the carriage. He reaches the house where Kim lives, and there are posts with the six-pointed starred pentagram upon them all over the yard and house. The symbol is everywhere. Romeo slowly walks toward the house, he must be taking the long way or something since it takes like five minutes to get there, and this is with the jumpcuts speeding him along. Finally he reaches the door and is about to go in, when who should call him? Kim! She wants to meet him at the coffee bar, so he runs off to meet her. The second he leaves, another horse drawn vehicle arrives, this one carrying Sue. Sue heads toward the house, and someone pays her driver to leave. Uh-oh, Sue! You better run!

Sue doesn’t run and enters the house. It’s dark, it’s dank, the lights don’t work, no one seems to be home, and the floor is slippery. Something is all over the floors. Sue slips! She falls right into it….It’s BLOOD! OMG! I’m soooo scared right now! Get out of the house, Sue! Wait, don’t go upstairs! Leave the house, you fool! Don’t go near that thing on the stairs! No! NO! NOOOOO!!! Oh my Lord, Juliet is dead! A tongue in a jar! And a dog is loose, run! Run! Whew, you’re outside now and safe, nothing could possibl— NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The horror…the horror…

Romeo is still waiting at the coffee bar, he gets a call from Kim to meet her at his home, at what time? Come on, you can guess….9! He goes home, opens his fridge, screams at something we can’t see, then is domed by a hammer. He awakens tied to the floor with Kim above him holding the hammer. C U at 9? More like Audition. Miike at 9. We get a flashback to a scene that we never saw earlier in the film where Romeo buys her a hammer. The very hammer she is using. How…IRONIC! Like a free ride when you’ve already paid. I guessed we missed the visiting to the hardware store during the lovers’ montage earlier somewhere in all the jumpcuts. Romeo tries to grab his phone, but gets a hammer to the hand. Kim pulls out some surgical tools, and it’s bye-bye tongue. Yes, let’s just steal from every popular recent Asian film. Steal U at 9. A piece of tape put over his screaming mouth is given a smilie mouth, then she starts drawing the pentagram shape on his chest. She puts on some music and starts dancing to a Hindi love song’s pop remix. Uh…huh. Ooops…it’s been too long since they stole from Audition, so she pulls out a saw to use in the de-footing. Hey, let’s check back in on that flashback, to see that Romeo bought her that saw as well! There is so much ironing here all my clothes are wrinkle free. That’s a joke, son. You’re supposed to laugh. Oh, never mind. She doesn’t say “Piki piki…” though. A neighbor we’ve never seen before arrives to deliver a package, gets an eyeful of torture, and a back full of stabbing. Well, I guess we needed to increase the cast to four people. He must be the producer’s landlord or something. Kim pulls out an axe from a violin case. A machine gun would have been too cliché, and this movie is only ripping off Asian films, not American Gangster films of the 30s. Time to die, Romeo!

Nope! It’s just a dream! He wakes up with Kim still lying next to him earlier in the film soon after he Romeoed her sister. No, wait, THAT was just a dream, he’s really lying on the floor about to be axed a question. But a nice flashback of Kim learning her sister slept with her boyfriend and thus turned her evil is all the back story we will get anymore. Fare thee well, Romeo!


And the C U at 9 Theme blares out at ya!


Can I C U at 9?
‘Cuz that would be f1ne!
We will drink lots of w1ne
When I C U at 9!

Can I C U at 9?
I will build you a shr1ne!
Tarzan swings on a v1ne!
I hope U R F1ne

Can I C U at 9?
just call my landl1ne
Hey, it’s a porcup1ne!
I’ve drunk some moonsh1ne

Can I C U at 9?
pig-stuff is called “porc1ne”
That doesn’t rhyme with 9
let a little light sh1ne!

Can I C U at 9?
I will lick ur sp1ne
don’t step on a landm1ne
Before I C U at 9!

Boo-yah! And it only had to steal almost all elements of the film and have 20 jumpcuts a minute. India needs to export less of junk like this and more Aishwarya Rai. I can forgive them for the bad tech support for her. This film, on the other hand, is inexcusable. From the AOL-speak in the title to the hero’s name to the jumpcut-fest to the fact the movie never explained the pentagram thing Kim kept drawing. What did it mean? Was she the Blair Witch? Why is the Blair Witch in India now? With a dead twin sister that she pretended to be to have sex with Romeo, even though she was having sex with Romeo, and Romeo is a creepy scumbag who had sex with her?

One time I was on the bus, and this guy got on who spend ten minutes arguing with an ad poster for a local museum. That guy made more sense than the ending of this film. As of this writing, this film is so bad IMDB isn’t listing it.

Rated 2/10 (Cat got your…, Chock full of heady goodness!)


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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!