Director: Unni Govindraj
Starring: Suraj Venjaramoodu, Jaffer Idukki, Alencier Ley Lopez, Sudheesh Nair
“Heaven” stars Suraj Venjaramoodu as Circle Inspector Peter Kurishingal, a man who finds refuge in his job after the death of his wife. He relies on wits and presence of mind to solve cases and spouts socially responsible statements along the way. The excessive commitment to his work makes him a father who rarely shows up for his son. And when he finally shows her his affection, it’s too late.
The investigation into the murder of Sebin (Peter’s son), his classmate and his entire family, forms the central plot of the film. Peter explores the dualities of power and vulnerability. Suraj plays the role with ease that audiences have come to expect from him since his appearance in “Action Hero Biju.” Jaffer Iduki delivers another outstanding performance. Alencier, Joy Mathew, Sudeesh, Sudev Nair and the rest of the cast do precisely what is expected of them.
Audiences unfamiliar with Malayalam cinema may find the first half a bit slow, but for regular viewers “Heaven” is engaging enough. Police procedure and forensics seem accurate, at least to the untrained eye. The film does not insult the intelligence of the public at any time, but it does not pose a challenge either.
Cinematographer Vinod Illampally sets the appropriate color tone for the film. The camerawork is particularly commendable in the scene in the first half where Peter is confronted with the reality of his son’s death, the shot capturing Suraj’s facial expressions and body language for maximum impact. In contrast, the camera assumes a passive role in the second half, where certain shots seem to be arranged to match the rhythm imposed by the background music.
Throughout the second half, the bgm should fill in the gaps in the scenario. Gopi Sundar’s music is good, with the only track that stands out being the one involving the police drumbeat.
Rookie director Unni Govindraj co-wrote the film with PS Subramanian. The duo manage to create a more realistic suspense thriller than most popular films in the genre. It may not be in the league of films like ‘Drishyam’, but ‘Heaven’ is certainly a compelling unique watch.