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Turbo Packs A Punch In Parts

Last updated on: May 24, 2024 11:45 IST

Turbo finds its footing in the latter half with some well-conceived one-upmanship between hero and villain, yet it's marred by poorly executed action set pieces in the climactic showdown, observes Arjun Menon.

Vysakh's Turbo heralds the somewhat triumphant return of Malayalam cinema's seasoned master of masala storytelling. Stepping back into his familiar domain, Vysakh aims to rework his magic on the silver screen with a film that straddles the thin line between generic action and inspired storytelling.

Centered around the life of a rugged middle-aged tour guide named Jose, portrayed with unyielding charisma by Mammootty, the film paints a portrait of a man also known as 'Turbo' for his untamed spirit and penchant for street fights with local gangs and strong punches.

The tale kicks off with Jose disrupting a rival gang's meddling in a festival, inadvertently playing cupid to a pair of star-crossed lovers, and embarking on an unexpected journey to Chennai.

However, what follows is a narrative that meanders aimlessly, relying heavily on Mammootty's magnetic presence to mask its narrative deficiencies. Jose's adventures feel painfully strung together, left to fend for himself in between a young couple's uninspired breakup.

Yet amidst the film's shortcomings, the emotional relationship between Jose and his strong-willed mother, is portrayed with warmth by Bindu Panicker. Their moments together provide the film with much-needed heart and humour, though sadly, this charm dissipates once the story shifts gears to Chennai.

The screenplay, penned by Midhun Manuel Thomas, struggles to maintain the initial spark, faltering in its attempt to replicate the endearing rapport established earlier.


Turbo suffers from rushed and contrived writing, attempting to cram too many narrative elements without giving them room to breathe. From doomed romances to banking frauds and political king-making, the film juggles them all with bland indifference. While adherence to genre conventions isn't inherently problematic, Turbo lacks the sharp wit and innovation needed to elevate its familiar tropes beyond the mundane flourishes.

The introduction of the antagonist, Vetrivel Shanmugha Sundaram, portrayed with menacing restraint by Raj B Shetty, injects a much-needed dose of intensity into the narrative. Despite the script's limitations, Shetty's portrayal adds depth to the otherwise predictable villainy, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

Christo Xavier's score is mindful of the film's scale and keeps the narrative engaging, amply supported by Vishnu Sharma's highly mobile camera work drenched in rich palettes.

Despite Vysakh's efforts to inject vigor into the action sequences, the film's inert screenplay weighs it down. While the editing by Shammer Mohammed maintains a brisk pace, it's not enough to overcome the narrative's sluggishness. T

Though Mammootty's charisma shines through, Anjana Jayprakash's misjudged performance and lacklustre chemistry with him diminish the emotional impact, further weakening the film's foundational dynamic.

Turbo finds its footing in the latter half with some well-conceived one-upmanship between hero and villain, yet it's marred by poorly executed action set pieces in the climactic showdown. The face masking and visual effects of Mammootty in action sequences here leave a lot to be desired and at this level, you expect more from the makers.

However, Mammootty's enduring charm and physical prowess remain undeniable, reaffirming his status as a timeless icon. While Turbo may not break new ground, it serves as a testament to Mammootty's unwavering allure, captivating audiences across generations.

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