The latest Prithviraj starrer Thalappavu, the debut directorial venture of popular actor Madhupal, can be called a historical film as the movie is based on the controversial and real-life confession of police constable Raveendran Pillai who gunned down the naxalite leader Varghese in a fake encounter on February 18, 1970, in the jungles of Wayanad in North Kerala. The movie is presented in the form of the scattered memories of an old repentant retired police constable and offers a promising watch with wonderful performances all through.
The memories of Raveendran Pillai (Lal) start from the point where he was instructed by his superiors to shoot and kill Joseph (Prithviraj), a communist leader who had emerged as the leader of a group of idealistic youth pledged to fight against exploitation and corruption in the early 70s. Raveendran Pillai remembers how his superiors had forced him to shoot Joseph and kill him after being subjected to the worst kind of third degree torture. Joseph was the prime culprit in murdering a cruel landlord Krishnadeva Saiver (Atul Kulkarni).
Again, Raveendran Pillai travels back in time and remembers how he had met Joseph for the first time and an unusual kind of bonding had developed between them. He also remembers how he had met Joseph's childhood sweetheart Saramma (Dhanya Mary) in Wayanad, after a long gap of time. The dreadful experiences of Saramma and many others at the hands of the cruel landlord Krishnadeva Saiver were an eye-opener for Raveendran Pillai, who started sympathizing with Joseph and other naxalites.
Things take an unexpected turn, when Ravindran Pillai, decades after the death of Joseph, files a counter-affidavit in court that sheds light on the unsavory truth that lay buried for years.