‘Anveshippin Kandethum’ movie review: Tovino Thomas headlines a gripping investigative thriller that is slow in parts

Tovino Thomas shines in director Darwin Kuriakose’ film ‘Anveshippin Kandethum,’ an engaging investigative thriller that tends to be sluggish in parts

February 09, 2024 04:48 pm | Updated 05:40 pm IST

A still from ‘Anveshippin Kandethum’

A still from ‘Anveshippin Kandethum’

Anveshippin Kandethum by newcomer Darwin Kuriakose is an investigative thriller which has two cases in a single movie; sort of two for the price of one. Watching the two murders solved is entertaining, especially the second case, and Tovino Thomas is sub-inspector Anand Narayanan who cracks both. But what sets the film apart is how the cops solve the two unrelated crimes, but with no arrests. Since the investigation happens in the early 1990s, the aids in solving crimes are forensics and legwork with some custodial interrogation (and a dash of violence) thrown in.

The film is set in 1993, when a teenager, Lovely Mathen, is found murdered. There is pressure on the local cops to ‘find’ a culprit who does not belong to the two Christian factions of the area. If the murderer is from either of the warring factions, then “central Travancore will burn,” cautions a senior police officer. 

Since Anand Narayanan, an ‘over enthusiastic, new appointee’, ostensibly does not understand the dynamics between the two factions, he is sidelined lest he tip the delicate balance that could result in dislodging the ruling party. Be it when he is getting snubbed by his seniors or as he watches them pin Lovely’s murder on an innocent man, Tovino’s expressions and body language convey the helpless deference of someone having to obey their seniors. 

Anveshippin Kandethum (Malayalam)
Director: Darwin Kuriakose
Cast: Tovino Thomas, Indrans, Harisree Ashokan, Shammi Thilakan, Kottayam Nazeer, Baburaj. Siddique, Madhupal
Runtime: 140 minutes
Storyline: Set in 1993, the investigative thriller is about sub inspector Anand Narayanan who cracks two murder cases, one of which is a six-year old cold case

When the Lovely case is cracked in the first hour of the film, one can’t help but wonder what the next hour and half is going to be about. That’s when the first twist occurs, leading to Anand and his team of three getting suspended. This leads to the second murder investigation, a six-year-old cold case, which Anand and his team have to solve in order to be reinstated; it is his chance at redemption of sorts, and Anand has to use ingenious methods to investigate and eventually crack it. The climax of this case is a whiplash coming out of nowhere. 

Kudos to the writer Jinu Abraham who maintains the suspense. There is nothing that, as in usual whodunits, indicates who the culprits might be and the revelation is, well, a revelation! There are no loose ends, all the conclusions are neatly and convincingly explained.

Tovino is understated and convincing as Anand, a policeman with a heart, sans the flamboyance of Kalki (his last cop appearance.) The film also has other acting powerhouses in supporting roles such as Indrans, Harisree Ashokan, Shammi Thilakan, Prem Prakash, Madhupal, Baburaj and Kottayam Nazeer. The roles are not full length, but Darwin uses these actors effectively. Baburaj is especially good as the panchayat president of Cheruvally, where the Sreedevi murder case takes place.

A word of praise for the production design team which has done a good job of recreating the 1990s, which would have been a challenge. 

Like many debutant directors, Darwin has a lot to say, which he has packed into the film. Ultimately, Anveshippin Kandethum is an engaging entertainer with a gripping narrative, despite being slow in parts. 

Anveshippin Kandethum is currently running in theatres

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