‘Turbo’ movie review: Weak screenplay holds back Mammootty’s charge

Within the repetitious and thunderous score of Turbo, there’s a distinct sound of an engine revving up, signaling the protagonist ‘Turbo’ Jose’s (Mammootty) readiness for yet another battle sequence. This aural cue aims to heighten viewers’ expectations of the forthcoming conflict. Despite this setup, the lackluster foundation of the film’s plot leads audiences to disconnect, indifferent to whether the narrative reaches its climax or stalls.

However, when compared to director Vysakh’s former project, the widely criticized Monster, Turbo is a step forward. This movie seems to run on the principle that an action film requires only a minimal narrative to string together its showy displays of action. It is here that screenwriter Midhun Manuel Thomas fulfills his role, though not necessarily lifting the declining direction of his screenwriting trajectory.

‘Turbo’ (Malayalam)

Director: Vysakh

Cast: Mammootty, Anjana Jayaprakash, Raj B. Shetty, Bindu Panicker, Shabareesh Varma

Run-time: 155 minutes

Storyline: ‘Turbo’ Jose, prone to combat, gets entwined with Vetrivel Shanmuga Sundaram, a mysterious tycoon entangled in a major bank fraud

‘Turbo’ Jose is depicted as an ordinary man from the mountains, known for his frequent brawls. After a particular scuffle, it’s discovered that the true targets of the assailants were not Jose but his comrade Jerry (Shabareesh Varma), who is smitten with Indulekha (Anjana Jayaprakash). Jose’s intervention causes a ripple effect, transporting the action to Chennai, where they soon intersect with Vetrivel Shanmuga Sundaram (Raj B. Shetty), an elusive businessman with aspirations of political dominion through nefarious tactics currently trending.

Vysakh and Midhun allocate the first half of the movie to constructing this narrative, eschewing any complex or nuanced character development. Thus, they devote the second half to relentless chase sequences and combat scenes. This becomes one of the film’s shortcomings, with no real plot twists following the unveiling of the central banking con. The screenplay, though teeming with stereotypes, does incorporate some novel moments, such as Auto Billa (Sunil) taking on a Marlon Brando persona in a deserted mall, and Jose opening up about a haunting childhood incident that elucidates his strong bond with his mother (Bindu Panicker).

In conclusion, Turbo will be remembered for its reliance on conventional genre elements and its hesitation to innovate. Echoing the film industry trend, the movie hints at a sequel, a move requiring commendation for its optimism akin to the character ‘Turbo’ Jose’s indomitable spirit.

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