U-Turn movie review: Samantha Akkineni owns a paranormal thriller that thrives on an interesting premise

Sreedhar Pillai

September 14, 2018 08:42:46 IST

3/5

U-Turn is not a regular whodunit but a well made paranormal thriller that moves at a rapid pace, with a stunning reveal in the climax. It is the Tamil remake of the Kannada film with same title and director. It is a faithful remake but director Pawan Kumar makes one crucial change in the climax which makes the murder mystery puzzle slightly more believable. Samantha Akkineni owns the film. She is fantastic in a very difficult role as the pivot around which the story revolves.

Samantha Akkineni in a still from U-Turn. Image via Twitter

Samantha Akkineni in a still from U-Turn. Image via Twitter

Rachana (Samantha) is an intern at a newspaper (the film was partially shot at the Times of India office in Hyderabad).  She takes to the crime beat and wants to impress her senior editor Aditya (Rahul Ravindran) and does an investigative story on the Velachery flyover in Chennai. She finds that each day, some motorists move blocks that partition the road just to take a short cut through a U-turn. Of course, those who unlawfully take the U-Turn do not move them back and the blocks leads to many accidents.

A homeless man who lives under the flyover and Rachana’s contact takes down the vehicle numbers of those who violate the traffic rule and take the dangerous 'U-turn'. She tracks them one by one and discovers that all of them appear to have committed suicide on the day they broke the traffic rule. Rachna is taken into police custody and initially, the police suspect her but later, a sympathetic officer Nayak (Aadhi), joins her as he feels that something is  fishy. Are the deaths connected to each other and to the flyover? Why do they all die on the day they illegally moved those blocks?  And out of the blue there comes an intriguing link which connects all the “suicides” and endangers Rachna’s life.

There are plenty of twists and turns that keep you hooked till the very last scene. The director, at the end of the film, says his story is based on real-life incidents. What impresses most is Nikketh Bommireddy’s camera, which gives the film its eerie feel, supported by the background score by Poorna Chandra Tejaswi. Pawan has a clever storyline as he harps on karma, the underlining theme of the film. It also delivers a hard-hitting message on how important it is to obey traffic rules. The film has its weakness as it oscillates between the real and the implausible; making it difficult for the screenplay to bridge the gap, especially in some key portions during the second half. The paranormal activities are tough to swallow.

The film works largely due to Samantha’s performance. Her expression of fear in the climax makes for easily one of the best scenes. And giving her ample support is Rahul Ravindran as the senior crime editor and Aadhi as the cop. Pawan has pacakaged U-Turn well as a neat thriller which plays more on the latent human fear of the unknown.   

Updated Date: Sep 14, 2018 10:04 AM