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Chanakyathanthram movie review

Chanakyathanthram movie poster

Unni Mukundan‘s Chanakyathanthram movie, directed by Kannan Thamarakkulam, is an average thriller flick that tries to cover up its flaws by including a serious message in it.

Arjun Varma (Unni Mukundan), a post graduate in criminology, joins a private detective agency named Hawk’s Eye, where he is given certain assignments to find the complete details of some people (subjects) for his undisclosed clients. Being a smart observer, Arjun completes all the assignments so fast even impressing his boss Irene (Sshivada Nair). But, he falls in love with Andrea (Shruti Ramachandran), who is an orphan.

A series of mishaps that happen in the life of all his subjects one after another raises suspicions in Arjun’s mind. How he finds the truth behind it form the gist of this thriller.

Performances in Chanakyathanthram

Unni, who is introduced as the ‘action king’ in the title credits of the movie, has two stunt sequences in the movie. But they looked unrealistic at times as people were flying in air. Even though he has a well-built body and looks flexible in those action scenes, I doubt if that’s enough to label him the ‘action king’ in Malayalam. On the acting front, the stylish actor has delivered a decent performance as a smart and keen observer.

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From dressing up as a ‘sexy’ woman, swamiji, Mally Singh and priest, Unni appears in four different looks in Chanakyathanthram as part of his investigations. It was all done to show how smart he is as a private detective and they last for a few minutes only. However, the actor’s makeover as a ‘sexy’ woman had made headlines before, but wasn’t he looking odd with that macho body? It didn’t impress me at all.

Meanwhile, Hareesh Kanaran, Sshivada and Shruti have got enough space to perform in Chanakyathanthram. And they were good as well. But Anoop Menon’s character could have been a little more convincing.

What stands out?

Sshivada and Shruti’s costumes were impressive. Shaan Rahman’s BGM for Anoop’s character and the song Etho Vazhitharayil sung by Unni and Tessa Chavara are catchy. Other than that, there is barely anything that really caught my attention in this mediocre thriller.


Comedy was a forceful addition in this film like the music recording scene involving Ramesh Pisharody and Hareesh Kanaran. It wasn’t funny or relevant.

The background score during the second stunt sequence wasn’t syncing well with the mood of the situation. It actually sounded funny.

Also, is wearing helmet while riding two wheelers such a big deal? Oh yes, Unni or Anoop’s characters grabbed the attention of certain people only because they decided not to wear it. So it was necessary for the easy flow of the script.

The ‘social message’ that the makers try to preach through this movie too felt as a forceful addition just to make it look like a serious thriller. I still wonder what relevance that Facebook cheating incident had in its story line.

Final verdict

Chanakyathanthram is just an average thriller considering the numerous flaws in it. However, compared to all the previous movies of Kannan Thamarakkulam, this Unni Mukundan-starrer was okay. The filmmaker should at least find a better script next time. Though Unni-starrer highlights a social issue, the suspense part becomes predictable at one point of time.

Rating: 2.5/5


5 stars: Exceptional, masterpiece 
4.5 stars: Well crafted piece of art 
4 stars: Very good, exciting, interesting/new concept  
3.5 stars: Good, but some minor flaws 
3 stars: Average, one-time watch 
2.5 stars: Mixed feelings 
2 stars: Disappointing. Watch at your own risk  
1.5 stars: Frustrating. 
1 star: A complete disaster. Better avoid this

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