Thalavan review: Asif Ali and Biju Menon shine in this impressive investigative thriller

The engaging script by debutants Anand Thevarkkat and Sarath Perumbavoor adds value to director Jis Joy's latest outing.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published:May 24, 2024

Thalavan is an investigation thriller

Thalavan (Malayalam)

24-05-2024, Crime Drama, 2 hours 13 minutes U/A
  • Main Cast: Asif Ali, Biju Menon, Kottayam Nazeer, Miya, Anusree, and Sankar Ramakrishnan
  • Director:Jis Joy
  • Producer: Arun Narayan Productions abd London Studios
  • Music Director:Deepak Dev
  • Cinematography: Sharan Velayudhan



Yet another investigative thriller has hit the screens at the Malayalam box office on Friday, 24 May—Thalavan.

The film stars Asif Ali and Biju Menon in the lead and is directed by Jis Joy—popular for his feel-good films like Sunday Holiday (2017) and Vijay Superum Pournamiyum (2019).

However, he made heads turn with Innale Vare (2022), a dark thriller released directly on Sony LIV. It won mixed reviews.

And this time, Jis Joy chose a crime drama. Interestingly, the project marks the fifth collaboration between the director and Asif Ali.

Well, let’s see what Thalavan is about:


Thalavan is an investigative thriller

‘Thalavan’ is an investigative thriller. (X)

The film begins with Udayabanu (Dileesh Pothan), a retired deputy superintendent of police, narrating a few police cases on a YouTube channel.

One of them is the Cheppanamthotta Murder Case. It revolves around the killing of Remya (Anusree), the wife of Joshi (Sujith Sankar), at the house of a senior police officer.

The case also involves professional ego clashes between two police officers, Karthick (Asif Ali) and Jayashankar (Biju Menon), who are entrusted with the duty of catching the culprit.

The investigation and the backstory of each character take the film forward.

At a particular point, Karthick is directed to head the probe, while Jayashankar faces an enquiry after being framed in the case.

What follows next? How do the police officers deal with their egos? — form the crux of Thalavan.

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While the first half deals with different characters in the suspected list and how they manipulate the case, the second half has interesting twists and turns that keep audiences hooked to their seats.

Interestingly, the latter half has quite a few similarities with Jeethu Joseph’s films like the Drishyam series (2013 & 2021) and Memories (2013).

The engaging script by debutants Anand Thevarkkat and Sarath Perumbavoor adds value to the film. It ensures a nail-biting experience for the viewers till the end.

Jis Joy deserves praise for effectively translating the well-written script onto the screen.

Though the premise and the story are fictional, the motives and traits of the killer are realistic, which is another highlight of the movie.

Asif Ali and Biju Menon in Thalavan

Asif Ali and Biju Menon in ‘Thalavan’. (X)

Asif Ali’s Karthick and Biju Menon’s Jayashankar are loud characters and exhibit the traits of a tough cop.

Despite their limited screen time, Miya George and Anusree leave a mark. Miya George appears as Jyoti, the wife of Jayashankar. Anusree’s Remya plays a crucial role in the film.

Their characters could have been developed equally with the male actors.

Sharan Velayudhan’s cinematography is a huge plus point for Thalavan. The police station and the lockup room are shot from different angles, which only speaks volumes about Sharan’s expertise and creativity.

Deepak Dev’s background music is an asset for the flick. The senior music composer delivers a pulsating background score and melodies.

The crisp editing by Sooraj is another highlight.

The film is best watched in theatres for its technical finesse.

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Asif Ali delivers a mature performance as SI Karthick. His combination with Biju Menon works well in the movie.

Biju Menon, as Jayashankar—an aggressive senior cop, is a joy to watch. His mannerisms and dialogue delivery are commendable.

Dileesh Pothan, as Udayabanu, is apt for the role.

Anusree, as Remya, is impressive. However, she gets limited scenes.

Miya is good, too.

Kottayam Nazeer does justice for his role as a crooked police constable.

Final take

Thalavan is an impressive investigation thriller. Watch it for the wonderful combination of Asif Ali-Biju Menon.

(Views expressed here are personal.)