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The Free Upgrade
The Free Upgrade is an US based English- Malayalam 36 minutes long short movie written and directed by Thomas Rajan. The movie tells the story of an Indian software engineer who was undergoing thru some very unexpected events on a crucial day of his Project. This was released on the US based Pravasi Television channel on 26 Dec 2017. This is the first Malayalam movie which received ratings from the MPAA (Motion Picture association of America). The movie got published in amazon Prime US platforms on 13 Feb 2018. It also received the censorship ratings from BBFC ( British board of film classification ) and published in amazon prime UK platform also. Sachith Ramachandran is playing the lead role of this movie accompanied by Aby George, Sandeep Krishnan, Shuju Pananjickal, Archana Ramachandran, Subi Bau in other major roles. Story
The movie starts with Mr Joe Kurusinkal ( Aby George ) who is travelling thru Santa Monica( CA ) on a motorbike to meet his personal assistant Sarah (Archana Ramachandran ) in Los Angeles. They are meeting in a parking garage where Sarah's car is parked. After seeing Joe's expressions Sarah asked where there is any problem. Joe informing her that there is someone in their director's group is moving against their entire organization and he actually came to Los Angeles to identify the mystery behind it and reveals the hiding person. After reaching their guest house by Sarah's car, Joe is going out alone in his BMW car with some plans in his mind . But unfortunately, Joe was attacked by someone and he became unconscious.
The next day starts from the Los Angeles International Airport ( LAX ) where the leading character of this movie Anand Varma ( Sachith Ramachandran ) is walking out from the airport. Anand Varma is an IT software professional coming to Los Angeles in order to do some Project proposal presentations for their new client. Anand was basically from Chicago and he came to Los Angeles just for a day in order to lead the project proposal meeting on that day. Riyas (Shiju Pananjickal ) is the Project Manager of Anand's team was very upset for Anand being late . Anand was trying to convince Riyas they are fully prepared for the proposal and he will reach the office soon from airport. The other project team members Pooja ( Subi Babu ) and Meera ( Punnya Jayakumar ) who were with Riyas at that time in the office also trying to convince Riyas on the same saying that Anand will reach soon. But Riyas was still upset and trying to call Anand again and again. Anand took a rental car from the airport in order to go to his office in Woodland Hills . The lady in the rental car office ( Praveena Serin ) giving the car keys to Anand and ask him to take the car from their garage. On the garage, Anand spend some time to find the car, and finally he finds the car. Anand was too surprised by seeing the car, because the car he got is a Minivan model . He actually ordered for a small sedan model car only, but what he got is a big minivan model car commonly used by big families. Anand is making a phone call to the lady at rental car office and informing about this. She told it might be some kind of a’ Free upgrade’ that he got based on his rental car profile and if he want she can change the car and give a sedan model now itself. But during this time, Anand is seeing that he is getting calls from Riyas again and again, so he decide not to waste time any more by replacing the car and he is ok with the minivan. Riyas was at least happy that Anand is on the way to office. He asked Anand to avoid the freeway and take the Pacific Coastal highway ( PCH ). Riyas is also informing Pooja and Meera that in case if Anand is late, they have to start the presentation. This Project proposal was for their new client ‘EVERSOURCE’ and they are one among the biggest firm in consumer insurance. If they got this project from EVERSOURCE, it will become a biggest achievement for them. From this point onwards, the whole rhythm of the movie is getting changed and going thru some unexpected events . On his way, Anand found a strange cell phone from the minivan. He also getting a hidden gun under the seat. Anand become very confused . he is getting a call in the new phone. The man who called to that phone introduced him self as Steven Rosario ( Sandeep Krishnan ), a senior Police office at L.A.P.D. He is informing Anand that he got this Minivan mistakenly from the rental car office . This van was supposed to be give to some of his Police agents for an undercover operation and the phone and gun were part of it. Steven ask him to come and replace the car immediately in a place he mentioned. Anand has no options and he agreed to that and he is going to the place that Steven mentioned. During that way Anand heard some sounds from the boot of the minivan, he was shocked that a man was laying down with hands and legs tied, mouth closed with tape, in the boot of the minivan he drove till now. It was actually Mr Joe Kurisinkal whom we saw in the beginning of this movie. Joe revels the truth that Steven is not a police officer. He was the hitman controlled by the strange man who was playing against their organization. Joe seeking Anand's help to meet Steven. Joe's plans are getting failed . Steven was so powerful, beat Joe down and took him in the minivan. Anand was helpless, but he managed to hide in the boot of the van without noticed by Steven. Steven took the car to a jungle . Finally Anand find Joe in the Jungle and beat him down . Joe was able to identify the strange man by checking Steven's cell phone . It was actually John Samuel ( Seji John ) who was behind all these. Joe is calling Sarah and informing this and ask her to take action against John. Anand was so sad that he missed the project meeting, and definitely without him the meeting won’t be success. But later it reveals that Joe is actually the CEO of the EVERSOURCE group from which Anand's company is seeking the project. The movie is ending with happy climax that Anand's team is winning the project .
Reviews and Reception
The Movie got mixed reviews from the audience . The story was digestible for those who were working in the IT departments. But for other's it was not. Somebody complained about the length of the story and acting skills of some characters. But the movie was one among the rare action thriller one in the short film category which made film notable the industry.
Cast and Roles
Sachith Ramachandran - Anand Varma Aby George - Joseph Kurisinkal Sandeep Krishnan - Steven Rosarrio Shiju Pananjikal - Riyas Archana Ramachandran - Sarah Praveena Serin - Ross Subi Babu - Pooja Punnya Jayakumar - Meera Vivek Puthanveetil - Sundar Hariharan - Seji John -
Story, Script & Direction Thomas Rajan
Editing Thomas Rajan, Sachith Ramachandran
Assistant Directors Vivek Puthanveetil, Sachith Ramachandran
Camera Thomas Rajan
Poster Design Sujith Kurian
Location Stills Vivek Puthanveetil
Supporting and Promotion Sivakumar Kurukkal, Neena Aby, Pretheesh, Priyanka Anand
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