Critic’s Rating: 3.0/5
Story: A reporter investigating traffic violations on a flyover finds herself as the suspect of a murder investigation. As she tries to prove her innocence with the help of a cop, they uncover a series of mysterious deaths.
Review: Mystery thrillers often rely on its unpredictability to keep the viewers at the edge of their seats. Often filmmakers tend to get so involved with the way they tell their stories that they lose track of the big picture. In U Turn, director Pawan Kumar pays attention to every detail, however miniscule it may be, but the pace of the film suffers. What starts of as an engaging film turns into a predictable, stretched out fare.
The film revolves around Rachana (Samantha Akkineni), an Intern with the Times of India, who investigates traffic violations on RK Puram flyover, where several motorists manually remove a divider to take a U-Turn on the flyover. Before she knows it, Rachana is picked up by the police in the middle of the night and is accused of murder. While the entire police force looks at her as the prime suspect, officer Nayak (Aadi Pinisetty) believes that she’s innocent and hears out. As they investigate the case, they uncover a series of mysterious deaths of those who had taken the U Turn on the flyover.
U Turn’s strength is in the way the story builds up in the first half. There’s an element of shock and awe as the reporter is snatched away from her home and put in police station. For a while, the filmmaker keeps the audience guessing with sudden twists and developments in the investigation.
Unfortunately, the second half lacks the bite of the film’s initial portions and a promising thriller turns into a bit of a drab. The biggest problem with U Turn is its predictability, as the director reveals his cards a bit too early, and the climax seems too stretched out. Even a run time of 128 minutes seems too long.
There are too many loopholes to make it look believable. For instance, when Samantha, who plays a reporter, is picked up randomly by the police, not once does she ask for her rights or for a lawyer. She doesn’t even call her crime reporter (Rahul Ravindran), who she is friends with. The police clearly doesn’t have enough evidence to even bring her in, let alone detain her – and yet, they manage to keep her overnight.
The supernatural element in the film is revealed early and is too over-the-top to leave any impact on the viewers. It adds no value to the film, and in the end, U Turncomes across as a simple story told in an extremely complicated manner.
Samantha owns her character and is convincing as the scared, young journalist. She gets a meaty role and sinks her teeth into it. Aadi Pinisetty too impresses as the soft police officer, while Rahul Ravindran doesn’t get much scope to shine.
By the end of watching U Turn, the only words on the audiences’ minds would be ‘divider’, ‘U Turn’ and ‘flyover’. They are repeated over and over again, just to make sure the audience gets the point. But there’s always a risk of underestimating the audience. When you do that, quite often they just take the U Turn back to their homes.