Friday, 14 September 2018

U Turn: It says, U are not allowed to violate traffic rules

A film's impact relies totally on how it transforms the mindset of its audience after watching. Undoubtedly filmmaker Pawan Kumar's U Turn starring Samantha is one flick that can make it to this aspect. One would really think twice before making a traffic violation after this.

U Turn's plot is not so complicated. This remake of Pawan's own Kannada film of the same name is all about the series of suspicious deaths of people violating traffic in a very specific fashion. But, how Pawan pulls it off in film-language brings up cold creeps as the film proceeds instantly after the first death occurring in the screenplay.

In fact, the entire plot takes a U Turn at a point when Rachana(Samantha) has only one way to find out why is that all happening. There is a symbolism Pawan carries all through his narration. Even a mild romantic love proposal over Whatsapp turns out to be a horror element through this symbolism. It needs an investment of prodigious smartness to make every movement of a horror screenplay to be sensible, and this one is so fluent.

There are a lot of single-take shots in the film like the first conversation between Rachana(Samantha) and her mother in a running auto, and Nayak(Aadi) making orders to his colleagues to take up the investigation to next level. There should have been at least a score of rehearsals for both the actors which are conspicuous. Indeed, Samantha has a lot to do other than this. And, having seen her mostly in accustomed roles or as a glamour element in the past, seeing her being a centripetal factor of a movie and shouldering it wholly is cogent. For Aadi, it was like revisiting his Eeram days.

I felt several hindrances when watching U Turn as some of the characters speaking Tamil were with awry lip-sync. Maybe the film is completely bi-lingual. We are also naturally pushed to raise a few questions when there is a change in date of death as autopsy report indicates it to be 2 pm while Rachana marks it in her diary a day earlier. There are also some visual flaws as everyone knows, it isn't Velacheri Flyover shown in the movie.

Moreover, it should be somewhere in Bengaluru or Hyderabad but definitely not Chennai, and the number of times it was being reiterated in the movie is legion. We can also feel alienated from being not in Chennai as the production design was not making it right with the barricades of the police department are not used in these parts.

Personally speaking, filmmakers also should understand how journalism industry works in ground zero, as movies speaking about the profession have always shown it in an exaggerated fashion all the time and U Turn is not an exception to that.

The repercussions of U Turn would not be felt when we watch it, but after leaving the screens and driving back home. It does not simply let us break a rule or even move a pile or a barricade for skipping lanes on road. It simply says don't even think of violating traffic laws.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, September 14, 2018.

A part or complete version of this review by Santhosh Mathevan has appeared in This viewer's note is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only.