Review of Kannada movie U Turn: Is there an alternate story underneath the supernatural one?
Please watch the movie before reading ahead.
After the tremendous success of Lucia, Pawan Kumar is back with a thriller this time. I reached the theater just in time to catch the opening credits of the movie. This was all the more important for this movie because "Nee maayevalago" the prologue to Lucia was a big clue to its story. Ready to witness something similar I was enchanted to hear the chants of "Karma". Now this is what changed my perspective on this movie as compared to that of my friends and other reviewers I see online. I interpret Karma as the principle of causality: like deeds lead to like results sooner or later; with no supernatural elements, God or Ghost. Here is an interpretation of the movie with "no supernatural" lens on.
Rachana, the protagonist of the movie is shown as a nonconformist. She has left the safe heavens of a software job and is an intern at Indian Express, a well known daily newspaper. She is secretly working on a story on people who move divider blocks on a busy flyover to take an u-turn to save time rather than going all the way to the end of the flyover and taking a legal u-turn. Her quest to study the minds of such offenders(a very plausible first story for an intern) becomes irrelevant when it is discovered that all of the last 10 offenders were found dead on the same day that they took the u-turn. Being convinced that there is a bigger story to it than careless mistakes, she investigates it as a series of murders. 4 more people who take the u-turn die mysteriously...or not mysteriously? We conveniently ignore the logical reasons given by a seemingly corrupt cop. We ignore the increased stress incurred by these 3 men due to questioning by police while already laden with guilt and fear due to debts and drugs. Rachana meets Riteish, a depressed man who lost both his wife and daughter to an accident on the same flyover. Realizing that there is only one way to identify the murderer, whether Reteish seeking revenge for his family's death or someone else, she moves the divider blocks herself on her way back. Immersed in the case and sleep deprived she dreams of Riteish's wife and daughter of whom she had seen photos when she visited Riteish. Riteish's wife accuses her of being the cause of their death by moving the divider blocks and seeks revenge. After promising of identifying the real culprit to Retiesh's wife, she finds herself waking up to a cut wrist.
Unsure of how to interpret the dream she convinces herself to find the details of the person who moved the divider blocks on the day of the accident and leaves the details where the wife's ghost would be able to find it. The twist in the end is her realization that the person she gave the details of is the person she is in love with and also not really the person who moved the blocks. Desperate to save her love and an innocent man, she runs to Riteish to narrate the real story with the hope that he would be able to convince his wife's ghost. This is where Karma kicks in, Riteish now realizes with a heartbreak, that he moved the blocks on that fateful day. Having believed in Rachana's story, he decides to die and unite with his wife and daughter, if only in the ethereal world. Karma has a different plan though. He survives the fall from the building to live the rest of his life under guilt and realization that his careless act was the cause of his family's death.
Now I don't know if this only my imagination or Pawan(the director) really thought about it this way. There are logical explanations to most of the supernatural events and that makes me believe that it was written to leave the audience with a choice of believing in the version they find more convincing. Let me know what you think through comments.