U-Turn (2023) Review!!

Synopsis – Motorists who take an illegal U-turn on a flyover die mysteriously. Radhika, who is interning to be a journalist, is investigating it. However, she becomes the prime suspect by a twist of fate. What happens next?

My Take – Yet another week, yet another remake! Well, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise since the 2016 Kannada film of the same name was so successful that it become the third Indian film to be remade in seven languages. Something which boils down to a simple yet well woven story line, effectively handled by writer-director Pawan Kumar.

A supernatural thriller connected to an illegal U turn taken by impatient drivers who remove a few loose blocks, from the middle of a long flyover, in their hurry to get to the other side, and go about without replacing them properly, resulting in fatal accidents, is an interesting set up, which when sprinkled with social commentary, achieved the right amount of tension.

However, in an effort to not create a scene-by-scene the Hindi remake, that is produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor’s Balaji Motion Pictures, director Arif Khan and writers Parvez Sheikh and Radhika Anand take such a different route, particularly in the second half, that the film ends up with severe pot holes, resulting in yet another insipid feature to come out this year, that too despite an incredible turn from Alaya F.

To make matters worse, the film is not at all scary, even if you merely take it as a scare-dispensing machine. Sure, the film only works in parts, but only when it sticks closer to the original. While the rest, probably done to make things seem more logical and believable, just adds on the climax which makes no sense.

Watch it if you want to spend a lazy afternoon and do not want to use your brain at all.

The story follows Radhika Bakshi (Alaya F), an intern with a newspaper, who is working on a story about how bikers who need to make a U-turn on a flyover in Chandigarh simply remove the stone blocks kept there to do so and don’t put the blocks back, leading to fatal accidents. And as the situation is going largely unnoticed by the authorities, Radhika aims to make a huge splash by interviewing some of these shameful drivers.

But, when one of these motorists end up dead in his house, with Radhika being the last one to visit him, she ends becoming the prime suspect. Making matters worse for her is the fact all these motorists who took an illegal U-turn on that flyover, some of whom Radhika interviewed, over the last year, have been found dead.

Luckily for her, Arjun Sinha (Priyanshu Painyuli), the police officer investigating the case is convinced that something is amiss, even when his sub-constable Indarjeet Singh Dhillon (Manu Rishi Chadha) seems to hint the presence of supernatural forces behind the activities.

The Hindi remake is engaging and interesting when it sticks closer to the original. The whole mystery angle, the investigation portions, and the sequences at the police station, do hold your attention. The amalgamation of spookiness and the mystery, that worked for the original film, is also where the remake shines the best. That is until, the second half steps in, which is especially messy.

Introducing meandering plot points that get increasingly bizarre as they unravel. The real test of the Hindi remake comes when it takes a major deviation from the original.

A totally bold move narration-wise, but just poor execution wise. Radhika’s whole background is particularly a mess. Why and how is her mother (Grusha Kapoor) talking to her dead son, who we find out also died in a road accident and how is it all connected? One of the main characters is shown having a connection to the accident in the first scene, which is revealed somewhere before the third act.

But then the final scene of the film shows it as some kind of big twist, without any repercussions or anything. It’s that the writing in these portions is where the film falters majorly, where it could not justify the deviation with the sequences that came before. The intention was totally right, and smarter writing, editing and direction could have saved the day here, sadly, which is not the case here.

And while the film was promoted as a supernatural thriller like its counter parts, this one takes a detour in the climax, adding a serial killer into the mix. Something which is no doubt, different from the original, but not necessarily better or more interesting. Instead, the resolution of the mysterious suicides seems far-fetched, exaggerated, and unconvincing.

What makes this film a bigger disappointment is that Alaya F is completely in her element here. Despite being only three films old, Alaya exudes confidence and looks effortless in both vulnerable as well as strong scenes. There’s a natural flair in her acting and something very calming about her screen presence that it all looks very real and relatable.

Alongside, Priyanshu Painyuli is efficient in his role, backed by an earnest performance from the always reliable Manu Rishi Chadha. Sadly, Aashim Gulati, Rajesh Sharma and Grusha Kapoor are wasted in minuscule roles. On the whole, ‘U-Turn’ is an unremarkable remake let-down by its inconsistent writing diversions.

Directed – 

Starring – Alaya F, Aashim Gulati, Priyanshu Painyuli

Rated – NA

Run Time – 101 minutes

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