Sunday, May 22, 2016

Movie Review: U Turn

U Turn: A Shortcut to Death
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The Story Frame

Director Pawan Kumar is back with yet another interesting story after his much successful film Lucia. Through U Turn, Pawan Kumar tells the world how callous we are when it comes to following traffic rules. In the hurry to take a short cut we don’t bother the consequence that may follow to self or to someone else. U turn is about a string of unpleasant happenings due to the traffic violation happening on a double road over bridge in Bengaluru which is followed up by a new intern of a major newspaper. The film is a mystery thriller that slowly and very beautifully reveals the connection between the traffic violation happening on the over bridge and the deaths of the offenders. The background score is by Poornachandra Tejaswi and the film is edited by Suresh.

Cast: Shraddha Srinath (Rachna), Dilip Raj(Adhithya), Roger Narayan (Sub Inspector Nayak), Radhika Chetan, Skanda, Krishna, Pavan, Naveen, Pramod Shetty (Sundar), Aarna Kulkarni, Kennedy

Director: Pawan Kumar

Producer: Pawan Kumar

Written by: Pawan Kumar

Screenplay: Pawan Kumar

Music by: Poornachandra Tejaswi

Cinematography: Satya Hegde, Advaith Gurmurthy, Siddharth Suni

Edited by: Suresh Armugam

Production: Pawan Kumar Studios

Distributor: Mysore Talkies

Distribution Partner: Drishyam Films

Release Date: 20th May, 2016

Duration: 121 Minutes

Language: Kannada (With English Subtitles)

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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark

Pawan Kumar’s U Turn is a gripping tale that keeps the audience at the edge of their seats fairly for a long time. Breaking traffic rules is not an uncommon sight on Indian roads. U turn tells us about a trainee journalist working in a major newspaper in Bangalore who is writing a story on people who violate traffic rules especially at a particular spot on the double road over bridge. She is aided by a recluse living in a makeshift shanty near the said spot who gives her the numbers of those vehicles in exchange of Rs 100 a day who have broken the traffic rules by shifting divider blocks manually that endangers life of other motorists.  
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The female protagonist Rachana (Shraddha Srinath) based on the information regularly follow up with her friend in the RTO to track those violators’ other particulars to interview them to know their mind set and attitude that makes them commit such traffic violations.  On a particular day she sets out to interview Sundar, a traffic offender at his residence. Tired and exhausted after a hectic day and the interview she gets a shock of her life when she finds herself bundled into a police van accusing her for killing Sundar. U Turn from there on becomes truly a thriller that keeps you guessing and figuring out what is the connection between the traffic violations on the double-road over bridge and the alleged suicides committed by the violators. Shraddha Srinath as a trainee journalist is too good in her act. She as an inquisitive journalist, a dove-eyed lover and a girl who got trapped in the mystery of Whodunit is convincing. Shraddha  Srinath, a lawyer turned actor has an impressive presence and is successful in not over doing her act in crucial emotional scenes.

Her love interest, Adhithya is played by Dilip Raj. Dilip Raj as a crime reporter who is equally smitten like Rachna has a significant connection to the mystery shrouded U turn. Except for that he is not found contributing much to the story development. It is quite inconceivable that why Rachna who is at the early stage of love with Adhithya doesn’t share the trauma, her findings and seek help from him even when he is found handing over crime related research documents to her. Given his crime reporting experience Adhithya could have played a major role in unraveling the mystery of U turn, probably this could have been done if Pawan Kumar had conceived some other character to play the significant part meant for Adhithya. Perhaps, Pawan didn’t want him to do that because his role as a crime reporter teaming up with Rachna and Nayak in the investigation somewhere could have diluted the powerful role played by Roger Narayan as an investigating officer.
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The real showstopper in U Turn is Sub inspector Nayak. The incredible and realistic performance by Roger Narayan leaves us wanting for more from him. Nayak, a sensible and mature police officer is caught between the protocol of obeying his boss not to proceed with the investigation and his moral responsibility as a human being in authority to help a hapless girl suspected to be the alleged killer. Roger is a Hollywood actor who also finds time to work in Indian films (Hindi, Tamil, Kannada). Roger Narayan’s Hola Venky made by a fantastic filmmaker Sandeep Mohan is quite impressive and he is also seen in the latest Hollywood movie ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ based on the life of the Indian mathematics genius Ramanujan.

Pawan Kumar’s U Turn is not just a mystery thriller but it is a reminder to many of us that Indians are habitual traffic violators and are unapologetic too. A short cut to reach one’s destination may be a short cut to death for self or for others.  U Turn's first half is engrossing and thrilling but then post interval the mystery is unfolded too quickly.

Nevertheless, Pawan Kumar’s U Turn shall remind us all those traffic violations we did knowingly or unknowingly that might have put many lives in danger. The movie weaves in a beautiful story that showcases the plight of the victims who becomes prey to a freak accident and how the lives of their dear ones get altered due to that event. Despite its flaws here and there the movie definitely deserves an applause for its storytelling and portrayal which is quite different from the likes of this genre.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3.25