'Thalavan': A well-crafted investigative thriller with strong performances from Biju Menon, Asif Ali | Movie Review

'Thalavan' posters. Photo: IMDb

'Thalavan', directed by Jis Joy and starring Biju Menon and Asif Ali delivers an entertaining investigative thriller. Recently, Malayalam cinema has seen an influx of police-themed movies, raising the question of what 'Thalavan' has to offer. Biju Menon's last release, 'Thundu', another police movie, received a lukewarm response at the box office, so audiences were curious about 'Thalavan'. This film is well-crafted and contains enough substance to be considered a solid investigative story.

The story revolves around two police officers, Jayashankar (Biju Menon) and Karthik (Asif Ali), and how one becomes a suspect in a murder case. While the movie may not be excessively gripping, it certainly manages to capture your attention. From the outset, the film dives into the investigative phase, immediately hooking you to the story. There is also an ongoing ego clash between the two officers, though this subplot doesn't significantly impact the main story.

The movie is commendable for avoiding excessive drama and maintaining a consistent tone throughout. Initially, the ego clashes between Asif Ali and Biju Menon might seem cliched, making it seem like Asif Ali is sticking to playing hot-headed characters. However, his character's temperament serves a meaningful purpose in the story. Biju Menon stands out with his strong and convincing performance, his natural demeanour enhancing his performance. It has now become quite evident that Biju Menon excels in police roles.

In addition to Biju Menon and Asif Ali, the film features actors such as Dileesh Pothan, Miya George, Anusree, Kottayam Nazeer, and more.
The story provides a natural progression to the investigation without providing any "aha" moments. If you're expecting thrilling scenes, the movie doesn't quite deliver that. The writers also refrain from giving too much information for the audience to speculate about the killer's identity.
Writers Anand Thevarkkat and Sarath Perumbavoor have crafted the script skillfully. The climax sequence is tidy, though it feels like the antagonist lacks significant character development. The movie follows familiar patterns, such as the placement of decoy killers throughout, a common trope in investigative thrillers. However, the film's ending is quite interesting.

While watching 'Thalavan,' you may be reminded of other investigative thrillers like 'Garudan' or 'Anweshippin Kandethum,' but the film carefully distinguishes itself from these similarities. Asif Ali's role is more substantial than Biju Menon's, and their scenes together are impressive. Despite the tension between their characters, they play it genuinely, avoiding overdramatization.
The film is worth watching for anyone who enjoys engaging in police investigation thrillers. It promises an enjoyable viewing experience for all.

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