Unni Govindraj’s directorial debut “Heaven” has been brought to the OTT screen by Disney Hotstar. “Heaven” is a decent crime thriller starring Suraj Venjaramoodu, one of the brightest stars of the Malayalam industry. Although “Heaven” is peaceful in name, throughout the movie, we are shown the hellish crime scenario. This movie captures our attention using various subplots to unravel the prime mystery. “Heaven” acts as a semi-permeable screen for a socio-political situation, narrating the tragic journey of an honest police officer, Peter, to end up being a murderer. But why does Peter choose this path? Let us discuss it in detail.
Why Was Officer Peter Arrested?
The story begins with a love triangle in a bus of 21 Kerala Battalion NCC campaign entering a forest. When they are ordered to set up their tent, we see the love birds spending some alone time in the forest but are interrupted by the sight of a dead body, which triggers the main story. Kerala police reached the spot where officer Bijoy is in charge of the crime. On approaching the corpse, he finds it rotting and innumerable maggots nestling in it. In time, the forensic team arrives and collects the sample for testing. Autopsy Officer Lalita informs Bijoy about the decomposition of the body, concluding that the body was three days old, which she found out by the sample culture. So she winds up with the fact that the person might be killed on November 20.
The head of the Forensic Department agrees with her, giving some more information about how the murder was done by inserting a cyanide-dipped needle into the victim’s jugular vein. He even sent the organ sample to the lab, and the police department wants to proceed until the report arrives. The autopsy department informs Bijoy that the soil they collected from the dead’s fingernails perfectly matches the soil from the crime scene, which proves that the murder took place in that forest. They even find the sole mark of a No. 9 shoe, whose company Bijoy soon starts investigating. Bijoy finds out the real identity of the victim, who was a businessman named Fabian John. Even from the last location and date of his phone, it is almost certain that the murder date could be November 19 or 20.
The shoe company informs the police that the person who bought the shoes was a police officer. Another witness who comes to Bijoy is the warden of Puliyanmala check post, who saw a car breaking through the check post and heading towards the forest. He even saw that the driver was a police officer. Connecting all the dots, Bijoy takes permission from his higher authority, IPS Revathy, to expose the murderer. We see that officer Peter is arrested as the murderer against whom all the evidence is arranged to be presented at the court.
What Does Peter’s Past Reveal?
A massive doubt arises about how Peter himself, being a lawman, can convict this vicious crime. We see some earlier moments of his life to know the motive behind the murder. Peter’s family consists of his son Sebin and his mother. We see the widower Peter’s son draw a picture of his best friend, Tina. He is dropped off at school by his father, Peter, in his police car. Being a serious and dignified policeman, he becomes a close friend to his family and colleagues. However, Peter’s patient love makes him bear all the mischief of his son. When Peter arrives at the police station, he finds a robbery case with a girl involved in it. When Peter asks the girl about the incident, she reveals her profession as being a prostitute who was raped forcefully by these two men. So the girl obliges to take their purse when the guys refuse to pay.
Peter neutrally stands by the truth, giving the girl back the money she owes. Rather, he teaches these two idiots the lesson of consent, which unfortunately has no effect on their little brains. Meanwhile, a middle-aged drunkard named Ravi comes to the police station to report his missing fourteen-year-old daughter. When Peter questions him, he says that being boozed up, he accidentally left her in an alley on his way home from school. Peter immediately sets out in search of his daughter to reach that alley. He finally finds Ravi’s daughter in a woman’s house. Later, with Peter’s initiative, they arrest the woman who is linked to a girl trafficking racket that has destroyed so many young lives.
Peter’s honesty and loyalty raise doubts about his motive for murder. What event could trigger his action has become a very complicated question. A few days later, Peter and his colleagues arrive at Mathew’s house to investigate a murder. Peter finds a dead Matthew, tied to a chair, and his brutally killed wife and daughter, Tina. But it takes a tragic turn when Peter’s eyes fall on a painting of Tina, drawn by Sebin. When Peter finally enters the outhouse of Matthew, he is deadly shocked to see his son’s dead body, who had come there for Tina’s birthday party. He restrains himself even during the severe breakdown. We see Officer Pillai, who was very dear to Sebin, standing by Peter’s side. Peter tragically regrets how he could not say goodbye to his son.
Peter learns from the autopsy of Sebin that he was strangled to death. However, Kishore was appointed in charge of the investigation, replacing Peter. When Kishore starts investigating, suspicion falls on Balvinder for staying in Mathew’s outhouse as he runs away from there. It was reported by a hospital that a man named Stephen, who had a serious hand injury, came to the hospital to get a bandage applied. Stephen is put under the conjecture of being a perpetrator because the forensic team suspects the killer had a hand injury. When Stephen is interrogated, he reveals that he and Balvinder only went to rob. The murder was an accident. Stephen’s eyes flashed with callousness, but his demeanor suggests that he was not so much worried about his captivity. Stephen seems to be portrayed as a puppet controlled by some major criminal.
How Does the Case Progress?
The slow progress of the case frustrates Peter, so he decides to handle it himself. But IPS Revathy doesn’t allow him officially. But obtrusive Peter convinces her to allow him to make a parallel inquiry. Peter’s murderous intent begins to become clear, illustrating the fire of his vengeance. Peter begins his investigation fiercely, indicating his great detection skills. Seeing the anticlockwise tape tied to Mathew’s hand, Peter suspects the killer to be left-handed, which is neither Balvinder nor Stephen. Peter shows Revathy a TikTok where Balvinder, Sabin, and Tina are performing a dance that proves Balvinder to be right-handed. Even Stephen’s signing with his right hand is noticed by Peter. So there was a third person with Stephen who was as untraced as Balvinder. When Peter comes to see the strange shifting of tiles in the outer passage of the police station, so fitting a pipe to blast there, he discovers the dead body of Balvinder. Stephen, however, seems to have known in advance that he would be interrogated, so when Peter approached him, he confessed to the murder. Peter investigates Stephen’s visitor list and finds a man named Latif. Peter gets the address from Latif, where he also finds Stephen’s money. Latif admits that the money belongs to Stephen and was given to him by a man named John. By checking juvenile crime files, Peter ascertains John’s identity as’ Johnny.’ But somehow, they can’t link the murder with him. All the events seem to be deliberately arranged so that a big killer can get away with only blaming it all on Stephen. That big guy seems to be John, but what was his motive?
What Was The Motive Behind The Mass Murder?
Peter’s eyes fell on the video of Sebin and Tina’s funeral, where the presence of some children can be observed only at Tina’s funeral. Doubtful of this, Peter follows a Maruti car that has come to pick up some children from Sabin’s school. Following the car, Peter arrives at an orphanage where he receives Matthew’s true identity. As Mathew and his wife had no child, they wanted to adopt Tina, but the orphanage didn’t allow them to adopt due to their financial hardship.
But suddenly, Mathew gets a reward of one crore rupees for handing over illegal work to the law, so they finally adopt Tina and buy a house in her name. At the same time, Peter approaches Revathy with all the evidence, informing her that in 2014 a diamond smuggler was arrested by customs at Kochi airport, and at the same time, a crore was transferred from customs to Mathew’s bank. Therefore, Mathew is given this money as a reward for helping to catch the smugglers. So this mass death is revenge on Mathew. He further adds that one of these smugglers, Ubaid, was released from jail six months ago. Impressed with his work, Revathy asks him to wrap it up soon. When Peter starts looking for Ubaid, he learns that Ubaid died in a bike accident, or it may be said that he was removed after the murder. Despite realizing it, Peter’s job becomes difficult because of having no evidence. Peter plots to have Stephen taken into custody, but the High Court dismisses the plea. Peter realizes that they are being misled as the crime has the support of the system itself. Meanwhile, when Peter’s mother falls ill, he takes her to the hospital, where he again meets Ravi, whose daughter he helped to find out about previously. Ravi cheers him up by informing him of his job as an ambulance driver and having a mortuary. That information might be useful to Peter in the long run. Peter comes to Revathy to inform her that he withdrew the case, saying that Stephen was the real suspect and the motive was only robbery. Peter’s eyes made it clear that the game had just begun and that he was going to play with his head covered.
Who is Fabian John?
After backing off from the case, Peter finds a twisted way to solve the case. He chooses to investigate by himself and follows a smuggler with whom IPS Revathy and Kishore are connected. Knowing that the fault is in the law, Peter confronts Kishore, whom he threatens to puke out the truth. Kishore narrates the story of Fabian John, whose journey from Johnny to Fabian was through the path of smuggling. He is a diamond smuggler who used to choose pregnant women to be the carriers. In the middle of the flight, the pregnant passengers used to take a pill, which would make them feel uneasy. As the doctors present at the airport were Fabian’s men, they sent sick, pregnant women to the medical college, injecting them with antidotes without a diagnosis, and thus the diamonds were smuggled. All this came to the attention of the male nurse at the airport named Mathews, who informed the customs officers and arrested such a carrier, for which Mathew was given 1 crore as a reward. But chaos ensued when Fabian’s wife, Ancy, was arrested as a carrier. Fabian, with the help of Kishore and others, arrested Ubaid to free Ancy. But he couldn’t save the end as she couldn’t bear the trauma of her miscarriage and committed suicide. Fabian is shocked by this incident, which causes him to search like a madman for Mathew to quench his flames of revenge. Unfortunately, Fabian finds Mathew and comes to his house to wipe out the family, but ends up killing Sebin as well. Fabian is a villain who has no power over love. Being an evil psycho, Fabian’s wife’s death pushes him down further instead of teaching him a lesson. So his love angle does not even evoke any feeling but hatred towards him.
‘Heaven’ Ending Explained: How Does Peter Prove Himself Innocent?
Peter’s court date arrives, and we return to the present situation, where Peter is standing in silence in front of everyone. Everyone here judges him as a murderer without knowing his tragic past. But Peter doesn’t seem to care anymore because he has managed to bring justice to his son, albeit in a roundabout way. When Peter’s court hearing is called up, his lawyer testifies to the court that on the date of the murder, he was celebrating his cousin’s daughter’s birthday at his cousin’s house. The lady lawyer proves through a Facebook video that the testimony is right. She also proved to the court that days before the murder, Peter’s car was stolen. So, as per all the proven testimonies, the court frees Peter.
This whole matter makes officer Bijoy frown. He talks to the head of the forensic team and finds out that somehow they are being misled, and thus, just like Fabian was before, Peter is now out of reach in this case. We are finally shown the real side of the story, where Peter devises a perfect plan to kill Fabian using Ravi. When Fabian arrives at Ancy’s cemetery, he finds her grave to be empty. Peter trickily summons Fabian and ties him to a chair. He injects air into Fabian’s jugular vein with a syringe. Peter cleverly sketches the plan so that, even provoking the law, he can get away with it eventually. He orders Ravi to put Fabian’s body in the freezer. And exactly three days later, on the night of November 20, Ravi, wearing Peter’s No. 9 shoes and a police costume, broke into the check post of Puliyanmala and dumped the dead body in the forest. At the end of “Heaven,” we see Ancy’s grave left in its proper place beside the grave of Peter’s son, Sebin.
“Heaven” is a tragic mystery thriller packed with various interesting subplots. The perfect method of crime detection and the plot holes of the legal system are depicted boldly, which is commendable. “Heaven” bears the imprint of slow, patient filmmaking that never feels rushed. Rather, the courtroom drama could have been extended a little more with the evidence of accusations against Peter, which would have made the movie perfect. Suraj and the supporting cast’s performance is spectacular. Keeping in mind the entire feature, “Heaven” can be put on a must-watch list. All in all, Heaven is a very interesting movie that tells you the story of two different murderers with two different motives, which will keep you glued to your seat.
“Heaven” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Unni Govindraj.