What you might expect from the trailer and what you might get from the movie are slightly different, and that, for me is the only off putting thing in the movie. More than the trailer, it was the amazing first half that just heightened my expectations for the second half. I cannot reveal what it is and spoil the experience for you, but rest assured, in spite of that personal expectation not being met, I still found the movie to be pretty good.
U turn is a movie that will make you look at your watch in wonder at the intermission. I could not believe that the first half just flew away in a jiffy and that is a testament to how engaging the movie was. It starts off at a leisure pace introducing the protagonist- Samantha- but quickly picks up the pace as the story unravels. It was entertaining while it was doing so, and that’s what I paid for.
The suspense is great even if you can sense the direction in which the movie is heading. May be the predictability of the story is a sore point but the screenplay and camerawork makes up for it. Pawan kumar, as the director and screenplay writer for this movie, was ingenious in the way he wove a beautiful message into the narrative. It was not just the central message that he was trying to convey but there were these little bread crumbs left by him here and there that left an impact.
Couple of scenes between Samantha and her mother were endearing but more importantly had a subtle social commentary of the director. It was not just the larger motive of the director in telling his story, but these little things that showed the director owned his craft and knew what he was doing. It goes to the old age ado- be honest in your characters and the story that you are telling, then you could be a great storyteller no matter how unconventional the story is. As the movie ended and I reflected upon the film, I realised certain ‘elements’ that I had initially found off putting were nothing but narrative tools used by the director to tell a bigger story- of society’s bigotry and shamelessness. But not to worry, the movie is not preachy- not by a mile.
The performances from all the lead actors- Samantha as the journalist, Aadhi as the police officer, Rahul Ravindran as the colleague, all come together naturally. I enjoy when I see that it doesn’t feel like “acting” but rather artists ‘living’ these roles. Smallest of the roles, by actors unheard of can pull it off too and that’s what gives any film that under flowing current of beauty in its art.
I cannot say enough good things about the camerawork and background score as well. There is one particular scene in the Police station where the camera follows around police officer Naik (played by Aadhi) as the intensity keeps on increasing when he figures out something chilling, that I thought was a masterclass in camerawork, and direction. The cinematography and background score add that touch of finesse to this suspense thriller at all points.
U Turn has it’s pitfalls in its story that few people might not like, and few others might not care, but I would still recommend this film.
A fair warning though, I took my mom with me to the movie and she absolutely hated it. So I am not too sure if this movie is for everyone, but for me it certainly was. I loved the intensity, the narration, the performances, and most importantly the background score. I was thoroughly entertained and enjoyed my two hours in the theater and that’s what matters at the end of the day for me. Do that well, and I give you 4 stars out of 5! (Could have gone with 3.5, but I really really loved the camerawork, music and cinematography. How can I rate the movie anything less?)