If there is a complaint about South Indian films, it is that they never push the boundaries. There has been growing discontent among filmmakers from the region that they do not receive the acclaim that they think they deserve. Pawan Kumar's U Turn changed it all. Released in 2016, the thriller proved to be a sleeper hit with its fresh take on the terror of urban living.
A brilliant screenplay, intriguing plot, and technical excellence only added to the film's qualities. As it readies for a screening at the Habitat Film Festival on 28 May, we list down 5 reasons to watch the film.Advertisement
For a thriller, and a supernatural one at that, U Turn has some amusing moments. Without being overtly funny, or forcefully so, these accidental moments allow a slight deviation from the thrilling screenplay before dragging the audience back to the gripping realities on screen. It is a very delicate balance that finds perfect expression in Pawan Kumar's screenplay.
He is, undoubtedly, one of the more talented directors to emerge from South India. The director broke through with a romantic drama in Lifeu Ishtene (2011) before shocking everyone out of their seats with Lucia (2013). The latter won him the Filmfare award for Best Director, and established his identity in Indian cinema. A fan of Anurag Kashyap, Kumar names David Fincher's Fight Club (1999) as the movie that inspired him to take up direction. The styles certainly match, and the skill does too.
Based on a real-life incident of accidents on a Bangalore flyover, the story of U Turn is its main hero. Gripping, taut, and eerily real, the film does not step out of bounds in its search for thrills. The relatability and everyday nature of the story is another factor that makes it all the more chilling. The many red herrings throughout the plot only make it more intriguing for the audience.
The absence of a powerful or known name in the star cast of U Turn is another of its appeals. Sraddha Srinath, in her first Kannada film, as the interning journalist who discovers the horrifying secret is the perfect mix of guile and terror. Roger Narayan is another wonderful talent who does well. The only known name is Dileep Raj, who does a credible job .
The key to any thriller, as Alfred Hitchcock would say, is to reveal to the audience the incident without revealing the narrative. U Turn manages it with some skill. While the end might leave people a little dissatisfied, it takes nothing away from the brilliant narrative of Pawan Kumar's film.