Thankam review: A well-made thriller with superb performances by Biju Menon and Vineeth Sreenivasan

ScriptaScriptwriter Syam Puskaran comes up with a subject that's never been explored in the Malayalam film industry to date.writer Syam Puskaran comes up with a subject that's never been explored in the Malayalam film industry to date.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published:Jan 26, 2023

thankam Shaheed Arafath
A gripping whodunnit!

Thankam (Malayalam)

  • Cast: Vineeth Sreenivasan, Biju Menon, Aparna Balamurali, and Girish Kulkarni
  • Director: Shaheed Arafath
  • Producer: Bhavana Studios
  • Music: Bijibal
  • Runtime: 2 hours 25 minutes

Thankam means gold in Malayalam. A movie that recently received trolls from social media was titled Gold.

So, when a movie with a similar title was released just one month later, it naturally generated curiosity.

From the trailer, the audience got the impression that Thankam was a thriller.

However, as mentioned by its scriptwriter Syam Puskaran, the film was a different attempt.

The writer takes a pause from his realistic stories and enters a different genre with this latest release.

The movie is about trust, love, friendship, gold smuggling, and investigation.

Crime thriller

Thankam is the story of close friends Muthu (Biju Menon) and Kannan (Vineeth Sreenivasan). They are also partners in a gold business.

Their trust and the economic problems faced by Kannan are one part of the story. Aparna Balamurali plays the role of Kannan’s wife.

An educated young person, Kannan is in the gold-making business in Thrissur, known as the gold capital of India.

His travel to Mumbai to sell gold and the sequence of events that follows forms the plot of the film.

Thankam talks about a debt-ridden Kannan and how his friends Arul, Wiki, and Abbas help him to get rid of his problems.

The film is truly a change from Syam Pushkaran’s usual realistic films.

This thriller has Girish Kulkarni as a Maharashtra cop investigating a case related to Kannan’s gold dealings. His performance as a shrewd Mumbai policeman is laudable.

Content is king

Directed by Saheed Arafath, the movie is refreshing as it deals with a subject that hasn’t been explored much in Malayalam films.

Renjith’s Puthanpanam had a similar context of smuggling, but wasn’t good enough to set the cash registers ringing.

One highlight of Thankam is the combination between Biju Menon and Kannan. The duo has a good screen presence.

Vineeth Sreenivasan is surely getting some good roles. His role in Mukundan Unni Associates received appreciation.

Biju Menon, who is known as a natural actor, plays a good role as Muthu, an innocent person.

As the story progresses, the audience gets the feeling that there is someone pulling the strings from behind the curtains. But the climax is not a usual one; it’s very unlike crime-investigation stories.

The motive behind the crime and its after-effects are something that society must have witnessed, if not directly then indirectly.

Technically good

thankam poster

A poster of ‘Thankam’. (Twitter)

Thankam showcases some excellent locales from Tamil Nadu and Mumbai.

As the story of the movie shifts from Thrissur to Mumbai, Gautam Shankar captures some great visuals.

The music and background score by Bijibal is important for the movie. The title song, a devotional kind, gives a different mood to the plot.

The movie starts as a normal story of gold agents. Later, when the investigation part starts, the audience slowly fastens their seat belt.

It has lighter moments provided by Biju Menon and Vineeth.

The editing by Kiran Das also goes well with the movie.


Thankam is a gripping thriller that keeps the audience hooked on different layers of the story, without getting bored at all. It is a sure winner!