Malayalam Reviews

Careful Review: One Of Those Remakes That Just Doesn’t Live Up To The Original

The most tedious part in Careful, the remake of Pawan Kumar’s Kannada film, U-Turn, is perhaps the unexceptional footage of Kochi’s traffic jams and crowded roads every few minutes. More underwhelming is the fact there just isn’t any point to these interjections. They just exist as is, an obvious effort to fill the gaps between scenes. Director VK Prakash, though, earnestly believes the chaotic visuals add heft to his film.


Careful is tellingly-titled, as a way to discreetly warn its audience of what’s in store. A thriller with fantasy elements, the movie features protagonist, Rachana (Sandhya Raju), playing a trainee journalist with a Malayalam media house. Her best claim to credibility are some rosy images of her sipping coffee and doing yoga, close-ups of her pretty face, and shots of her hair flying in the wind. That she, a trainee journalist with a Malayalam media house, lives in a well-furnished, plush two-storeyed house, without a housemate to split the rent, is the most striking fantasy part of the story. The series of death and supernatural presence that occupy the core plot, pale in comparison.

Like Prakash’s previous film, Nirnayakam, a clumsy court drama, Careful too, is about a civic issue – traffic rule violation. A novice journalist, Rachana, notices that a number of two-wheeler drivers break traffic rules on a particular road in Kochi. However, her attempt to weave a ‘human-interest story’ around this traffic violation makes her the prime suspect in a murder case.

What is more disappointing than Prakash’s enthusiasm to lecture the audience on the importance of following traffic rules, is his sense of cinema. His films, barring a few like Punaradhivasam and Beautiful, have similar visual language lacking aesthetics. He chooses superficial shots of the actors’ hair and eyes over relevant scenes of character establishment. For instance, when Jayakrishnan (Vijay Babu), a senior police officer, skims through files in a library, the camera goes for a random close-up shot of a glass of tea. The scenes of two people conversing with each other are composed of close-up shots of their eyes, sometimes nose and lips. To step up the proceedings of crime investigation, he turns policemen into caricatures who ruthlessly harass clueless people. Minutes after Jayakrishnan unreasonably assaults and harasses a cobbler in the name of interrogation, you realise that the film sympathises with him. Also, Prakash’s hurried script pays no attention to the politics that the film brings. When found innocent, the police send Rachana home, with an apology casually tossed at her. The cobbler gets home too, without an apology neither from the film nor the police.


The only memorable part of Careful is perhaps the rehash of “Kanakamunthirikal“, the melodious song from Punaradhivasam, that is set to a sequence starring Saiju Kurup. Among the actors, Jomol and Vijay Babu outperform the rest of the cast. Jomol, who is back in the industry after a long time, adds a lot of freshness to the screen. Meanwhile, Sandhya Raju, in her introductory song sequence, proves that she has all the right looks and fitness to be a model-danseuse, but in the scenes that follow, you see why super models and professional dancers do not always fit into the world of cinema.

Careful is a movie that focuses too much on delivering a social message, and loses sight of the art of storytelling. Anyone curious about the film should pick up a DVD of Pawan Kumar’s far superior original, U-Turn, or just watch Kerala Traffic Police Department’s PSA videos on Youtube.


The Careful review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.