It is still pretty much the start of the week and I still had one leftover from the weekend. With that I finished watching the new Malayalam film Christy streaming on SonyLiv. It had been a while since I had witnessed a pure love story and Christy did promise to be that. Right from its first look to the poster, there was a calming vibe surrounding the film. And to top it, its starcast was interesting too! Having adored the previous works of Mathew Joseph, I was really looking forward to his character here. There is always a disarming vibe to Mathew which would invariably put a smile on your face, something that I was expecting here. To give him company was Malavika Mohanan who has an impressive body of work as well. But most importantly, it was a Malayalam film, and by now you do know my love for the industry.
A couple of days prior to watching the film, I was looking into the ratings of the film and I came across shocking numbers on letterboxd. The numbers were shockingly low for a film that clearly had a lot going for it. And honestly I didn’t know what to make of it which is why I decided to go into the film with an open mind and form my own opinions. So then does Christy manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Based on a true story, Christy follows a story of a young teenage boy falling in love with his tuition teacher. The story is good but buried under a layer of shoddy and confused writing. The screenplay standing at a 140 minutes doesn’t feel too long primarily because the proceedings are light and breezy until the writers decide to include intensity in the drama. And that is where the film falters.
First things first! The title of the film doesn’t do justice to the story. The reason why I say this is because the entire story unfolds from the perspective of the male protagonist who goes by the name Roy. This was a fundamental error straight up! I would have still be forgiving had I got a little glimpse into the mind of Christy and what made her take those decisions. Alas, that wasn’t shown! The screenplay does have a typical three act structure and the disappointing bit is that the film actually works well in the first two acts. But the third act is so off and so shoddy and confused that it did bring the overall film down drastically.
In a typical style of world building in the first act, you are introduced to the protagonist and later his love interest. The vibe of the drama is sweet and quite warm. The proceedings are organic and the initial phase of love blossoming which often does have a tinge of awkwardness to it was nicely tapped into. One event did lead to another and the hesitation on the part of one of the characters while confessing his love for the other character was aptly captured. By the time the second act plays out, an interesting conflict is introduced in the screenplay with distance being the primary conflict between the two characters.
I did have minor issues with the characterization of Christy as she was often seen giving mixed signals. At one point, she did not seem okay to take the relationship forward but in an immediate next instance wished that Roy would come and meet her or take her to places. I was keen awaiting the reasoning behind it, but my wait just continued and continued!
One of the weakest final acts that I have seen for a Malayalam film in recent times was in this very film! It can be termed as nothing short of a brain fade. In this act, it is shown that Roy does sell off his bike in order to visit Maldives and stay with Christy where she has been residing for work. And there were multiple loopholes here. Firstly, there was a minor stutter on the entire segment featuring the health of Christy’s grandmother. But eventually nothing was a blocker, everything went on as planned, so then why was this subplot introduced? Secondly, there is artificial excitement introduced with almost the entire final act unfolding across 2 airports. And within that space too, the character of Christy refuses to recognize Roy but in the very next scene is seen to be rescuing him from the officials. Why? Why? Why? We would never know! This final act did anger me as the story could have met with a logical reasoning, this way or the other. Either show Christy to be a bad person or show her to be good! But surely not confused! Overall, the screenplay is a bit of a mixed bag but the final act is nothing short of a brain fade!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are sweet and ring in a good vibe. The music is excellent and I really enjoyed the leisurely paced songs that did touch my heart. The BGM is really good too and adds a nice little texture to the drama. The cinematography is breathtaking with beautiful visuals of the beach and the sunset. It won’t be wrong to say that the cinematography and colour grading are the unsung heroes of the film. Director Alvin Henry does a good job for two-thirds of the drama. But inexplicably, he lets go of the final act without offering any logical resolutions and this creative decision was completely off and it did not sit well with me.
The performances are impressive here. Malavika Mohanan as Christy looks beautiful and does a good job but I did have an issue with her characterization which was confused, without a character arc and quite shoddy. Mathew Thomas as Roy is quietly charming and very sincere in his performance. And I feel letdown because it was a superior performance that did come in a film that was potentially a great story but without a solid conclusion. All other actors are good too although none of them have any depth to them.
Christy is light and breezy in the first and second acts but suffers from a brain fade in its final act which makes it an utter disappointment overall. Available on SonyLiv.