It’s amazing how the Southern India film industries make quality, mass connect movies off unique story lines and little known, fine actors. Kannada mystery thriller ‘U Turn‘ on Netflix, Singapore took me by surprise as a horror story carved out of bikers who take wrong u-turns on roads resulting in frequent accidents. It’s not exactly the u-turn which is the menace, but the road dividing boulders which are displaced. Late at night when people are driving two wheelers, the likelihood of tripping over the displaced boulders is high; chances of death, even higher.
By the time I finished watching this Pawan Kumar written, produced and directed flick, the thought came to educate everyone who displace road dividers, take wrong turns or flout traffic rules in general. India, just like any developing third world nation, has traffic flouters ranging from ignorant to pure arrogant. The arrogance index of the country is going to come down soon, now that the Modi government is cracking one whip after another on black money. Till then though, the discipline needs to be inculcated, into every citizen.
Shraddha Srinath (reminds frequently of Taapsee Pannu) is an intern reporter with Indian Express making a report on accidents on highway. While on trails, she realizes that every biker (or two wheeler) who takes a u-turn on particular highway ends the day dying unnaturally – Police have little option or clue to term it anything but suicide. Things turn for the worse when she is accused of murder as she was the only person who had visited the victim’s house (as part of her investigation).
It’s soon found that the deaths have a supernatural link and while the police aren’t convinced, the audience is scared out of wits, when the corpse of a lawyer crash lands on a running police jeep. What happens from there on I will leave you’ll to watch and enjoy. U-Turn isn’t your horror flick where ghosts or spirits are strutting around, attacking or spilling blood. As a viewer you await a ghost figure at every camera angle (particularly post interval) but the beauty of the movie was attempting to implant a ghost presence without showing the stereotyped visuals.
If you seek a classic and emotional ghost story based on road accident, then look no further than Tamil thriller Pisaasu. There is another little message at start of the movie which I must highlight. While Shradda’s character (Rachana) is dropping her mother to the bus stop and bearing the non-stop nagging (about her delay in marriage), she jokingly asks the auto driver if he will marry her. The auto driver getting into a comfort zone with the ladies, mis-uses it to disrespect them. At end of the journey he asks for more money and keeps taunting Shraddha about her marriage delay. The message was clear – when you are joking with strangers, be very careful.
It’s not a brilliant movie to be watched multiple times, but it’s a fine movie to watch and be aware of the nuisance traffic flouters create and how it impacts society.
My rating: 3.5/5
IMDB viewers rating: 8/10