Turbo movie review: Weak, jaded script hampers this Mammootty ride - Hindustan Times

Turbo movie review: Weak, jaded script hampers this Mammootty ride

May 23, 2024 05:32 PM IST

Turbo movie review: Malayalam star makes a rare error of judgement with this massy but unexciting action film.

When Malayalam star Mammootty is the protagonist of a film, you can expect something different in terms of the story and characterisation. But you also need a good director and writer to give Mammootty a meaty project that he can dig his teeth in. Most of his films in the last few years have been spectacular, giving us shades of Mammukka we hadn’t seen before. So how does action thriller Turbo fare on this list? (Also read: Kaathal The Core Twitter reviews: Mammootty and Jyotika come together for 'terrific, memorable' Malayalam film)

Turbo movie review: Mammootty in a still from the movie.
Turbo movie review: Mammootty in a still from the movie.

The plot

Turbo is an action thriller written by Midhun Manuel Thomas and directed by Vysakh. Mammootty plays the role of Turbo Jose, a village simpleton who lives in Idukki with his mother whom he reveres. Jose has an uncanny habit of getting into frequent fist fights with those around him and hence the moniker Turbo. His friend Jerry (Shabareesh Varma) is in love with Indu (Anjana Jayaprakash) and in a magnanimous gesture of uniting the lovers, Jose brings her from her home to Jerry, who shockingly rejects her. Now, it falls on Jose to get Indu back safely to her home - as per his mother’s instructions. Things take a twist when Indu decides to rejoin work as a bank manager in Chennai rather than go home and Jose follows her. Incidentally, Jerry is also a bank manager in Chennai and it once again falls on Jose to reunite them.

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However, a sinister, larger-than-life plot is unfolding unbeknownst to Jerry, Indu or Jose, and they end up becoming pawns in a bigger political game. In comes kingmaker and goon Vetrivel Shanmuga Shankar (Raj B Shetty), who is behind a large-scale bank scam that comes to light when Jerry accidentally discovers it. The bank scam is related to the politics of Tamil Nadu where money buys loyalties and Vetrivel is at the heart of this political game that can make or break governments. If anyone discovers the plot, it can destroy Vetrivel’s plans for the state. So what does Vetrivel do when Jerry discovers the multi-crore bank scam? How does Turbo Jose get drawn into Vetrivel’s plot?

A massy treatment

Director Vysakh and writer Midhun Manuel Thomas have tried to give the audience a massy film that is filled with high-octane action and comedy revolving around Mammukka. Mammootty’s character is that of a simple guy who knows how to fight well - so it’s quite one-dimensional as is the character of the villain, Vetrivel. Vetrivel is not a strong antagonist who can take on mighty Turbo Jose - all he knows is killing people who disobey him. The film, which begins on a good note in Idukki, progresses to a mass masala story in Chennai that is not new to the audience. Turbo is lazily written with punches only being delivered in fights - the storyline has everything from a church festival to financial scams to politics to romance to numerous villains without coherence. In fact, a few of those elements (like Auto Billa and Co) and numerous scenes (like the one of foreign women bathing in the spa surrounded by politicians) should have been left out to make the screenplay tighter.

The movie uses an interplay of comedy and fights to move from one situation to the next. Unfortunately, most of the comedy falls flat so it’s upto the fight sequences to save the day and this is where we witness Jose become an unbeatable fighting machine who can wield everything from a bike chain to a sword to a gun and a rifle to destroy his enemies. Thus it becomes a mass entertainer, especially in the second half with a Mad Max style climax action sequence.

Mammootty has excelled in the action sequences that have been well-choreographed and shot to showcase the 72-year-old star’s acting and action prowess. Though Kannada writer-director-actor Raj B Shetty is talented, his role in Turbo is weak and doesn’t do him justice at all.

Bramayugam is a film that both Mammootty and music director Christo Xavier were hailed for. In Turbo, however, Christo Xavier’s music and BGM are just average.

Vetrivel keeps repeating in the film that he hates cliches. The audience would hate the cliches in Turbo too.

The director drops a hint of a sequel at the end of the film with a Tamil star. Turbo was really not fully charged so perhaps the sequel plans can be dropped too.


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