U-Turn Takes The Right Turn At The Right Moment
U-Turn Takes The Right Turn At The Right Moment

U-Turn proves once again that the only star a good movie needs is the script

Director: Arif Khan
Writer: Parvez Sheikh and Radhika Anand. Story by Pawan Kumar
Cast: Alaya F, Priyanshu Painyuli, Aashim Gulati
Rating: 3.5/5


Alaya is Radhika Bakshi, a young rookie journalist following a story on motorists causing accidents on a flyover by removing concrete blocks from the divider while taking illegal U-turns. With the help of a homeless man who has taken shelter on the flyover, she keeps track of the vehicle numbers and tracks down the people flouting the traffic rules in order to interview them for her story. But when the traffic rule violators on her list start turning up dead one after the other, she falls under the police radar. Her history reveals a personal tragedy that can serve as a perfect backstory for a serial killer. Is Radhika Bakshi behind these murders? But with the lack of any murder weapon or evidence, and the wounds being seemingly self-inflicted, is it the dead exacting revenge? Or is there something more sinister going on? Does Radhika’s ruggedly-handsome office colleague, who is helping her with her research and hence has access to the list, have anything to do with it?



Sub-inspector Arjun Sinha (Priyanshu Painyuli) is intrigued and takes it upon himself to solve the case. He believes Radhika to be innocent and the duo join forces. While the cop goes after hard evidence, the journalist is armed with her nose for news and gut instinct.


The whodunit oscillates between a murder mystery and a supernatural thriller and creates a delicious tension that keeps you hooked. While it is based on the 2016 Kannada film of the same name, which was written, produced, and directed by Pawan Kumar, and has already had seven remakes including one in Filipino language, Parvez Sheikh and Radhika Anand give a twist to the tale—one that uproots it from its paranormal realm and plonks it into the regular everyday world. This not only makes this version more relatable than the original but also far scarier.


The thriller that points out the importance of adhering to traffic rules also doubles up as a reflection on what happens when the fear of the unknown that one keeps locked inside the subconscious is unfurled. But most importantly it is an exploration of actions and consequences.



Although there are a few logical flaws here and there (I don’t know of any journalist who would land up at someone’s house at midnight without informing them), U-Turn proves once again that the only star a good movie needs is the script. Alaya continues to establish herself as a powerful actor and as Radhika, she is vulnerable, courageous, scared, and resilient. Priyanshu Painyuli is effective. Aashim Gulati needs to comb his hair. A little bit of chemistry between Alaya and Ashim would have helped their story ( at times the deliberate attempts to balance out their height difference by making Ashim sit through most scenes, becomes too obvious).


Credit goes to debutant director Arif Khan for delivering this no-frills taut thriller with an adequate spattering of mystery and horror elements. Anubhav Bansal’s cinematography ensures maximum impact. The music blends in and enhances the world as the story unfolds. Kudos to the writers for giving the ‘remake’ an original and more effective ending than the Kannada thriller. It isn’t easy to pull off a thriller and to do it this well takes special talent. It is one of the rare movies where the final reveal actually takes you by surprise. It is intelligently written and neatly executed. A sharper editing could have helped turn this into an edge-of-seat thriller. Brownie points for the smart casting!



Sharp storytelling, interesting tweaks to the original, and a powerful performance from Alaya make Arif Khan’s directorial debut a satisfying watch. You can watch U-Turn on Zee5.

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