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U Turn review: Samantha-Aadhi horror thriller a clear winner

Release Date: 13 Sep 2018 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 08min

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Manigandan KR

Director Pawan Kumar's U Turn is a well-made, intriguing investigative, crime, horror thriller that keeps you hooked right till the end.

Director Pawan Kumar's U Turn is a well-made, intriguing investigative, crime, horror thriller that keeps you hooked right till the end. The director, who first made this film in Kannada and tasted success with it, seems all set to repeat the feat with its Tamil and Telugu remakes as well.

The story begins with Rachna (Samantha), an intern with a newspaper looking to do a simple harmless story on people violating traffic laws. She decides that she will examine the nature and civic sense of such people who look to break simple laws like taking a U-turn where it is not permitted. As part of the exercise, she picks a flyover which has cement slabs for a divider. Everyday, there is someone or the other who moves a few of these slabs out of place to make way for their vehicles to take a U-turn.

A homeless man, who lives on the footpath of the flyover, helps Rachna by jotting down the registration numbers of people who move the slabs to take a U-turn in return for some money. After she gets the registration numbers of almost 10 to 12 such traffic violators, Rachna, through a friend in the Regional Transport Office, tracks down their addresses.

She decides to visit each of them and interview them. She calls on the address of one of the people that her friend gives her, but is unable to meet the man she has come to meet as the door is locked and there is no response to the calling bell. The cub reporter forgets all about the case that evening as she heads out for a date with a crime correspondent in her office.

That night, after her date drops her home and departs, Rachna has a surprise awaiting her. A police patrol van calls on her. The cops insist that she accompany them to a police station for interrogation. Clueless, she goes with them, all the while demanding to know why they are taking her for interrogation. At the station, Rachna gets to know that she has been made a suspect in a case involving the death of the individual she had gone to interview that morning.

The shocked reporter pleads innocence. She tells the investigating authorities, one of whom is Nayak (Aadhi), that she is as clueless as them. She then narrates why she had gone to meet the man who had died and informs them of her intention to interview the other people as well. To substantiate her claims, she shows them the registration numbers she has collected along with their respective addresses as well.

The cops begin investigating all the claims she makes. Their investigation only throws up more rattling details. They discover that all the others whom she intends to interview too have died and all their cases have been closed as suicide.

Police officer Nayak realises that something is seriously amiss and that all the deaths are connected. Unfortunately, for Rachna, she happens to be the connecting, common point in all the cases. What does the cop do? How does Rachna solve this mystery? U-Turn gives you the details.

Samantha nails this one with a spectacular performance. Be it the manner in which she flirts around with her crush or be it the shock that she expresses when she realises that she has unwittingly got herself and her friends such as the guy in the RTO office into trouble by becoming a suspect in a major crime case, Samantha is just precision personified. In other words, she just transforms into a reporter.

Aadhi, who plays one of the investigating officers, is equally good if not better. Aadhi, who already impressed as a cop in Eeram, delivers a performance in this film that is on par with his earlier impressive performances. Torn between a desire to help a desperate person and the need to obey strict instructions from stringent officers above him, Aadhi initially showcases Nayak as an indecisive man. Slowly, as the story progresses, he gradually turns into this man with clarity, despite constant pressure building up on him, doing only that which a conscientious man would do. This despite the fact that he has to disobey the order of his superiors. It is a difficult role, but Aadhi plays with with complete confidence in himself and manages to pull it off convincingly.

Bhumika Chawla, who has been missing from the Tamil film industry for quite a while, makes an appearance with a good performance in this film. As a loving mother, she is adorable and as an unforgiving punisher, she is fearsome.

Narain, who always makes an impact with his roles in Mysskin's films, is back on the Tamil silver screen after a long time with this film. Both come up with neat performances.  

U Turn's climax is a little predictable, but until it reaches that point, the film is absolutely intriguing and thrilling. One simply cannot afford to take one's eyes off the screen for even a minute. Needless to say, this one is a winner.

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