A newspaper intern tries to write a story about traffic rule breakers, specifically the ones who remove divider blocks to take an illegal u-turn on the Double Road flyover (in Bangalore). After she goes to interview the latest rule-breaker, his dead body is discovered and she becomes a murder suspect herself. Further investigations reveal that ten people who had taken that risky U-turn in the last few months had all committed suicide on the day they broke the rule.
Pawan Kumar’s U Turn has this very interesting premise and the first half builds up brilliantly towards an expectation of ominous revelations. However, the second half degenerates partially into a rather unsatisfying resolution of the mystery and partially into a public service message from Bangalore Traffic Police. To me, this was a rather disappointing end to a film I was enjoying tremendously for most part. The scary parts were really scary and the investigation as well as the police procedures were all done well.
The lack of bite in the final resolution is a big letdown considering the obvious professional finesse with which the film is made. All the actors are fit perfectly into their roles and act very well. Lead actress, Shraddha Srinath, is particularly good and does all kinds of scenes – light and dramatic – with confidence. The dialogues are very real and have the typical mix of Kannada and English Bangalore is famous for. I particularly liked the opening scene where the heroine’s mother is trying to get her to see prospective grooms, which is genuinely funny even though the situation is a cliché.
Pawan Kumar’s first film, Lucia, was a big critical success (and incidentally, made by crowdfunding). U Turn shows he clearly has the talent to pull off interesting genres and I will certainly look forward to his other films. If only he tones down the public service messaging.