‘Chaaver’, a Tinu Pappachan directorial, starring Kunchacko Boban and Manoj K U in the lead, is a political thriller set in North Malabar. Unlike usual tales of political vendetta, the film focuses on four party loyalists' escape from a murder scene.
Party loyalist Ashokan, played by Kunchacko Boban, is wounded and in need of immediate medical assistance. With the police on their heels, he and his comrades can't seek treatment in a hospital. So, they decide to seek help from a young, unsuspecting medic Arun (Arjun Ashokan). However, things don’t go as planned and Arun is forced to flee with the gang.
The police chase and the getaway may remind you of ‘Nayattu’. But in 'Chaaver' those trying to escape the law are four criminals who can offer no justification for their crimes. Their journey has intrigue, but nevertheless feels stretched and lacks emotional depth at times.
It’s admirable how both the director and the scriptwriter Joy Mathew have brought in a different perspective to the political murders. Friendship is yet another aspect that is explored in the movie. Arun's friend stays loyal to him, even when he is drilled by the police to say Arun's name. This is one of the key highlights of the movie. The murder scene has also been portrayed well and you can't help but feel for the 24-year-old victim, played by Antony Varghese.
However, despite the finesse in filmmaking, the script, which boldly explores how party leaders use their workers as pawns, at times is a letdown. The spiritual essence of the Theyyam has been captured beautifully through Jinto George’s camera. The music by Justin Varghese and the technical brilliance also elevate the film's viewing experience.
Kunchacko Boban’s transformation as Ashokan is noteworthy. The actor has put on some extra weight for the movie, to portray a fearsome party worker. Kunchacko who shed the chocolate hero image long ago, has also some mass scenes in the film. Arjun Ashokan, Antony Varghese and ‘Romancham’ fame Sajin Gopu, have also done exceptionally well. Sangita Madhavan Nair of ‘Chinthavishtaya Shyamala’ who has made a comeback in Mollywood after a long while, plays Arun's mother in the film but her character is not explored well in the movie.