Heaven, the new crime thriller starring Suraj Venjaramood as the hero, is a movie that manages to be engaging due to how it is structured. Unni Govindraj and co-writer PS Subramanian have moved away from the general straightforward investigation pattern. Despite being that background score-driven thriller treatment that doesn’t excite you much, the distributed nature of its twists and the normalcy of those twists makes Heaven a watchable thriller.
The movie is about Peter Kurishinkal. His wife passed away a few years ago, and he lives with his mother and son. A murder case came up his way, and sadly that had a personal connection that shattered him. A determined Peter was after the person who did the crime, and how he found the culprit is what we see in Heaven.
At the very beginning of the movie itself, we are given names that could well be the suspense factor in the film. But the idea of this thriller is to focus on the how and why rather than being a whodunit. And that’s where the consistent twists that looked real make this movie interesting. The interval block was a really impressive one. The only major issue I had with the treatment of the film was the excessive usage of slow-motion and background score. I think it’s high time thrillers in Malayalam get out from the Memories hangover.
Suraj Venjaramood is yet again appearing as a police officer. Rather than the character’s macho side, the vulnerability makes him a good choice for the role. The multiple phases of Peter were portrayed neatly by Suraj. Alencier as Peter’s associate, showed his caliber. Jaffer Idukki, as the ruthless criminal, delivered a fantastic performance. Deepak Parambol in that slight salt n pepper look was impressive. Abhija Sivakala, as the police chief, was a bit too stiff. Sudheesh, Sminu Sijo, Sudev Nair, Joy Mathew, etc., are the other prominent names in the cast.
As I said, the structuring of the script that places sensible twists at regular intervals of time helps the film to be in that engaging space. But some areas need refinement. The entire opening sequence featuring the NCC students is one example. The excessive build-up they gave to certain side tracks, which weren’t that critical, was also a bit of an outdated strategy to distract the viewers. There are impressive bits too in the movie, like the fake marijuana case. Vinod Illampally’s cinematography was impressive, and the color palette and tone maintained the film’s mood. Toby John could have trimmed the movie by avoiding some of the unhelpful and cringe footage.
Heaven from Unni Govindraj has cliches and familiar beats for sure. But the personal angle and how they have realistically expanded the case make it a narrative that holds your interest till the end. Heaven is a familiar revenge story with an interesting design that needed a bit more refinement.
Heaven is a familiar revenge story with an interesting design that needed a bit more refinement.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended