Poacher 2024 / The hunt for poachers is on in this well-made and important Malayalam crime thriller


In Poacher, two passionate but low-level wildlife preservers are tasked to bring down a massive crime ring that murders elephants to sell rare ivory. It’s a hefty task, one that’s constantly bogged by red tape and corruption, so it’s not surprising that some scenes go on for too long and wind in repetitive circles. But for the most part, Poacher moves briskly and urgently; it has the familiar beats of a crime drama while never losing its important message about the importance of preserving nature. In lesser hands, the latter could come off as cheesy or preachy, but in Poacher, the message never feels less than life and death. It begins with the animals, as one of the investigators explains, and if the criminals are not caught soon, things will likely freefall into uncontrollable crime and corruption, not to mention a damaged ecosystem that could ruin one of India’s few green spaces forever. It’s a thought-provoking message, one that’s helped by the show’s high production value, heartwarming focus on wildlife creatures, and dedicated performances.

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