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Careful: A Smooth Ride Skittled by Weird Fancy

Social messages in films hardly hit the bull’s eye when they adopt didactic ways. Careful tries to strike a balance between the message and the plot, but the latter is unable to provide the indispensable support to propel the film altogether. As a filmmaker, V.K. Prakash (VKP) has the penchant for haute shots, and his flamboyant style of filmmaking often gives the impression that the content of his movies has been overshadowed by his embellishments in visuals.

While his ad-filmmaking experience immensely reflects on song sequences and scenes, his treatment of the subject often takes a back seat. Interestingly, after a dream debut with National award-winning “Punaradhivasam”, his career has undergone a sea change.

reviewfilmIn his new film, a remake of Kannada film “U Turn”, VKP has succeeded in sustaining the suspense till the end. The film talks about traffic violations and the fate of people who commit them on a particular day.

Rachana Nambiar (Sandhya Raju), a trainee journalist, is under humongous pressure after the editor of the newspaper give vent to her displeasure with her performance. Her colleague Bijoy (Vineeth Kumar) suggests her to look around for interesting stories. In one of the roads in the city, Rachana notices people take a U-turn by removing the stones that have been placed in the broken part of the divider. She decides to write about this traffic violation in a different angle. But what follows is a series of deaths of people who took a U-turn on that part of the road on March 19.

The police arrests Rachana in connection with one of the deaths. Police officer Jayakrishnan (Vijay Babu) realizes her innocence and decides to unravel the mystery behind the deaths.

careful2Sandhya Raju portrays the journo’s character convincingly, and her desperation to get rid of the harrowing experience has been aptly conveyed. She plays the lead and her accidental encounters set the milieu of a suspense thriller. Sadly, towards the end, the gripping moments and suspense seem to be bloated to convey a message.

When I consider the purpose of “Careful”,  I can’t recall a better film than the Tamil movie “Engaeyum Eppothum.”This poignant film, directed by debutant M. Saravanan, could permeate a message regarding road traffic with the help of a taut screenplay.

But VKP’s Careful veers off the track, sullying the good intention of the tale. Writer Rajesh Jayaraman ignores the responsibility of tweaking the adapted screenplay befitting the sensibilities of Kerala audience; though the central theme of the movie has a ubiquitous relevance. VKP’s craftsmanship grabs brownie points, but one has to blink to the triviality of the film towards the end.