Thalavan Movie Review: Malayalam cinema has produced some excellent cop movies in recent years, with films like Operation Java, Iratta, Kannur Squad, Kuttavum Shikshayum, and others. In 2024, we have had Abraham Ozler, which performed well at the box office but did not fare well with critics, and Anweshippin Kandethum, a somewhat better investigative drama that was overshadowed by fellow releases, Premalu and Bramayugam. Jis Joy's Thalavan is also a police procedural movie with a central murder-mystery theme. It is far from the best in the genre or in the league of the films mentioned in the first sentence. However, Thalavan succeeds through a pacy narrative, an intriguing mystery, and the performances of Biju Menon and Asif Ali. Thalavan Movie Review: Critics Call Asif Ali and Biju Menon's Crime Thriller 'Weak and Boring'.

SI Karthik (Asif Ali) is transferred to Chepannamthotta police station, his fifth transfer in one and a half years due to his temperamental issues. At his new workplace, Karthik clashes with his senior, CI Jayashankar (Biju Menon), who is equally hot-headed and is determined to teach his subordinate a lesson.

Jayashankar's plans go awry when a corpse is discovered on his terrace. Karthik ends up investigating the case, though Jayashankar is not willing to let his fate be determined by someone else and starts his own investigation.

Watch The Trailer of Thalavan:

Jis Joy, often associated with feel-good films like Sunday Holiday, Vijay Superum Pournamiyum, and Mohan Kumar Fans, tried his hand at a gritty thriller with 2022's Innale Vare. While it was a decent film – even the director's debut film Bicycle Thieves had a thriller element – Thalavan feels like more of an improvement. Largely avoiding distractions, Thalavan, scripted by Anand Thevarkkat and Sarath Perumbavoor, establishes the distinct characters of Karthik and Jayashankar while also setting up the mystery through the narration of Dileesh Pothan's character in the first half. The second half maintains interest thanks to the curiosity surrounding the mystery.

A Still From Thalavan

I felt the first half was better. The film does a good job setting up the cold war between the two leads and how that plays into the murder. The dynamics within the police station and how the media circus puts the department in a fix are nicely handled. Asif Ali and Biju Menon have portrayed their characters well, and their performances even rescue the second half, which is far from perfect. Innale Vare Movie Review: Asif Ali, Nimisha Sajayan and Anthony Varghese's Film on SonyLIV is a Watchable Thriller.

The second half isn't bad, but the writing around the dual investigation doesn't always feel convincing. There are scenes that feel slightly outlandish in the film's setting, like a fight scene in the prison that felt like an attempt to give Biju Menon a mass moment (perhaps because Asif Ali was getting more prominent scenes). Even the department turning a blind eye towards his investigation didn't feel convincing. The inclusion of Jaffer Idukki's scriptwriter character also felt like it belonged to a different film, and the twist around his character near the end felt like a twist for the sake of it.

A Still From Thalavan

Yet, the suspense is well-maintained, and the film drops plenty of red herrings. I also liked how Thalavan establishes that both heroes are not always infallible and are gullible enough, like Karthik being overly trusting of a former mate.

Also, I must admit that the villain's reveal was surprising, and the actor who played the role did a very convincing job portraying the different shades of the character. However, his plan felt a bit too convoluted, and there are parts where I wondered how he pulled it off without anyone noticing.

Final Thoughts on Thalavan

Thalavan turns out an engaging and thrilling police procedural that successfully keeps the audience hooked with its intriguing narrative and strong performances from its male leads. There are flaws galore, but the compelling character dynamics, effective suspense, and unexpected twists make Thalavan a worthwhile watch.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 28, 2024 03:41 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website