U Turn (Tamil) ~ Review

With tension built efficaciously throughout, this mystery thriller grips us down to the wire, to reveal the suspense.

   4.5 / 5.0

By: Rajarajan V.S.

***** SPOILER ALERT !!! *****

‘Karma makes an u-turn’ is writer / director Pawan Kumar’s concept. Likewise, he portrays how Karma boomerangs on a person in a plot that revolves around an u-turn spot. Sounds meaningful right? Yet, Pawan does not stop there. He believes in Karma for real. He is aware of the fact he should narrate the story in such a way, in order to get the audience going with it.

The narrative is well focused on the woman-centric subject. The screenplay never loses its grip on us. Samantha as Rachana is interning as a journalist. Samantha is a top star in the south. But, Pawan does not compromise anything for the sake of Samantha’s stardom.

Rachana is a tomboy. She even features a tomboy hairdo. Her mother urges her daughter to marry soon. A conversation between the 2 in an auto-rickshaw, involving the driver too, suggests that Rachana is not a typical ‘Tamil ponnu’. Her mother then takes leave from her daughter – this happens on a road. Wait for the incidents to follow – the major one involves a mother and her child getting separated in the flashback – in which spot? On another road.

From then on, Rachana lives all alone in her apartment. She drives a scooter.  Yes, there is a love track. Yet, that too has a role to play in the plot later. She involves herself in on-field work for her article. Such is the depth of her tomboy-ish character. Things roll out after the establishment of Rachana. A suspense comes into existence and the guessing game starts.

Samantha has glued herself with Rachana’s character definitions. She particularly shines in the sequence in which she is under the custody of the police. Her emotions can be strongly felt. She fears the police, but at the same time, she is aware of the fact that she is not the actual culprit and she wants herself to play a major role in solving the mystery behind the case.

When it comes to the mystery thriller genre, setting the tone right for the entire movie is vital. Pawan, along with cinematographer Niketh, editor Suresh and sound engineer Raja Krishnan, has set the tone perfectly for every scene. For instance, the best moment is the one in which the dead body of the culprit lawyer falls on the police car. It literally jerked me off the seat. Niketh’s visuals are softly lit – on par with the moodiness in the tone of the movie. The camera angles and traversals in the scenes involving Bhumika are done well and those evoke horror effectively.

The senior-most officer, Chandrasekar, played by Naren, has political connections. He is pressured. He wants to close the case by all means. To the contrary, there is Nayak, played by Aadhi, who is a responsible cop. He even works on the case when he is suspended from duty. The local man that Rachana hires is not just a mere junior artist. He has emotions too. When Rachana pays him after him getting beaten by the police, he refuses to accept the bucks with an anguish look on his face. Pawan’s characterisations are distinctive and deep.

The bridge that is portrayed here is not the one that exists in real life as they suggest. But, that is not much of a concern though. The chemistry between Rachana and her crush Aditya, played by Rahul, is not heartfelt. Samantha comes closer, but Rahul does not. We hardly feel a thing for him in the climax.

The suspense in the story is the key here. There are clues everywhere. Like the ‘U’ sign that appears before every death; 1 of the 2 swing seats swinging in the air all by itself; a culprit murdering his buddy and committing suicide in the jail; and Rachana feeling something on her scooter’s pillion seat, after she makes an u turn. Yet, Pawan’s narrative never loses focus / grip and the suspense gets revealed fully only towards the climax – where Pawan wants it to.

It is to be noted that this is Pawan’s debut in Tamil cinema and this movie is a remake of his original ‘U Turn’ movie, made in Kannada. Pawan has achieved intensity in his writing. He knows what kind of an execution is essential for the script. And above all, he knows how Karma works and that is his technique too. With tension built efficaciously throughout, this mystery thriller grips us down to the wire, to reveal the suspense.

Cast: Samantha Akkineni | Aadhi Pinisetti | Rahul Ravindran | Bhumika Chawla | Narain | Naren

Crew: Writer/Director: Pawan Kumar | Co-Directors: Kavin Bala, Suri Ravi | Cinematographer: Niketh Bommireddy | Editor: Suresh Arumugam | Music Composer: Poornachandra Tejaswi | Art Director: AS Prakash, Ramanjaneyulu, Latha Tarun | Stunt Choreographer: Chetan D’souza | VFX, DI: Knack Studios | Sound Designer: Sync Cinema | Sound Mixing: MR Raja Krishnan | Dialogues: Kavin Bala | Stylist: Pallavi Singh | Colorist: Suresh Ravi

Produced By: Srinivasaa Silver Screen | V.Y.Combines | BR8 Creations

Hashtags: #UTurn | #WAReview | #RajarajanVS

Rajarajan VS

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