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A taut, tantalising thriller

S Viswanath, May 21, 2016, DHNS 9:59 IST
A scene from the film
U Turn
Kannada (U/A) ****
Director: Pawan Kumar
Cast: Shraddha Srinath, Roger Narayan, Dilip Raj, Sudha Belawadi, Radhika Chetan, Prathiba Nandakumar

Pawan Kumar of Lucia fame is back. This time with a thriller U Turn. An engrossing, edgy sojourn to drive through. U Turn revolves around pretty and persistent intern Rachana, engineer, who has taken to investigative journalism, determined to break a crime story so that she gets permanent a job offer.

Staving off her mother’s insistence she get married, Rachana is drawn into an intriguing web of investigation only to land herself as accused in the death of the person she sought to interview. Believing her innocence, police inspector G K Nayak takes it upon himself to help her. Disobeying superior’s order sees him suspended when suspects turn dead in Byappanahalli police cell during investigation. Of course, our enterprising and inquisitive intern has a soft corner for the newspaper’s crime reporter Aditya providing the film’s romantic angle being besotted with the handsome beau.

Pawan Kumar has audiences in a thrall with his wonderfully crafted film despite several red herrings strewn in between to keep the tempo and tension going. His mastery over cinematic craft is evident.

However, the film suffers from a tedious second-half with the narrative going nowhere as it veers towards predictable and cliched ending.

Pawan is ably supported by his technical team, especially the cinematography team – Satya Hegde, Advaith Gurumurthy, Siddharth Suni who provide a zip and elegant feel, while Poornachandra Tejaswi’s haunting background score adds flamboyance to thriller’s texture. But U Turn’s star is undoubtedly its attractive and seductive intern – Shraddha Srinath, who with her tattoos, comes up with bravura performance fitting naturally in her role as a probing and persistent cub investigator. Daring, determined yet fragile, emoting with convincing charm.

Roger Narayan as inspector Nayak provides a perfect foil as the overzealous and professional police officer. The only regret is director Pawan has sadly confined Radhika Chetan to an inconsequential grieving mother in second-half, who was star of Rangitaranga and did a wonderful job in that superlative film. Despite these shortcomings, U Turn is must watch being notches above flippant flicks foisted on viewers in regularity.

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