A still from the movie 'U-Turn' Image Credit: Supplied

In India, it’s a common practice for motorists to remove medians on roads to make a U-turn at their desired location. Disregarding the safety of fellow drivers, they do not restore the medians subsequently posing a hazard.

Pawan Kumar’s Kannada film U-Turn was centred around this issue. Without being a lesson in morality, his thriller entertained viewers and made them reflect on the consequences of such actions. With a sprinkle of a paranormal element, Kumar’s story became something worth remembering.

Those who missed the Kannada film, can now watch Kumar’s remake in Tamil and Telugu, which releases in the UAE on September 13.

Samantha, who showed interest in the film soon after the trailer of the Kannada film released, reprises Shraddha Srinath’s role from the original.

Kumar is a trendsetter in Kannada cinema — his second film Lucia, an interesting psychological thriller, was remade in Tamil as Enakkul Oruvan.

The director said that the remakes are like new films.

The spark for the original story came to him while driving down the Double Road flyover in Bengaluru. He had seen instances where motorists removed the medians for their convenience but rendered it unsafe for others.

“I did not want to make a post on the issue on social media. Why not write a film on it?” Kumar said.

The Kannada U-Turn became a hit. With the Tamil-Telugu remake, Kumar got an opportunity to rewrite his script with a bigger cast and budget.

“I have rewritten the last 30 minutes. The mystery is different from the original story,” said Kumar, a theatre actor since the age of 19.

Kumar writes his own plays and directs them.

“The remake allowed me to explore the story more emotionally and bring out its nuances better. The new story culminates more effectively. And the social message is delivered with more impact,” he added.

Shot simultaneously in Tamil and Telugu, U-Turn is jointly produced by Srinivasaa Chitturi and Rambabu Bandaru.

The supporting cast includes actors Aadhi, Bhoomika Chawla, Rahul Ravindran and Naren.

If you are still keen on watching the original Kannada version, check it out on Netflix.

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Samantha spells success

It’s been an eventful year for Samantha — both personally and professionally. The spate of success that began with Telugu film Rangasthalam continued through Mahanadi and Irumbu Thirai. This week, Samantha has two of her films releasing — U-Turn and Seemaraja (Tamil). The two roles are like chalk and cheese. While she plays a journalist in U-Turn, in Seemaraja she is a silambam (martial arts) teacher.

Samantha recalls being impressed with the trailer of the Kannada U-Turn in 2016. She felt the story deserved a larger audience.

“As actresses we sometimes leave our brains behind while essaying some roles. This role was an opportunity to be real and someone I could relate to. She is a curious young woman who is caught in an extraordinary situation,” she said.

Her big challenge came while doing the emotional scenes.

“After I was done with an emotional scene in Tamil, the director tells me that he is ready to shoot the Telugu portion,” said Samantha who does not use glycerine to induce fake tears. “I had to again reinvest for the same scene.”

U-Turn is a thriller pivoted around a journalist who while working on a story finds herself as a suspect and is picked up by the police for the mysterious death of a man. As more deaths follow, she goes on an investigative trail.

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Don’t miss it!

U-Turn releases in the UAE on September 13.