The camera, the background score, music and the boys redeem the visual experience of the film for you.
Soubin Shahir had turned into a household favorite with his impeccable performances in Charlie, Maheshinte Prathikaram, Premam and so forth. When the assistant director-turned-actor announced his directorial debut with big names like Dulquer Salmaan and Anwar Rasheed the film, quite expectantly, began with great promise. But sadly for the sky-high expectations Parava consistently lets down.
The movie opens with a brilliance one rarely gets to witness in a movie. With just the opening scene Irshad and Haseeb, the sprightly, crooked toothed teenage boys, steal your heart and own the film. With each passing frame rich in colour and energy you will want to go back to your days of innocence with these boys, their school and their pigeons. As they laugh, cry and fight back, just like their pigeons, your expectations take flight.
Littil Swayamp’s frames take you through an earthy and vibrant Mattanchery. His camera is an effortless narrator- driving the story through the boys and at times even through the pigeons. Littil has dared to make some interesting experiments with his camera and many of them have worked! Even the background score and the music blend in seamlessly, thanks to Rex Vijayan.
All goes well till the story tilts and finally tumbles into a grown-up affair, far from the innocence of the pigeons and their flight.
Dulquer Salmaan, as Imran, appears in a cameo as the quintessential do-gooder. As a guardian-older brother avatar he struggles to match up to the many ‘valyettan’ characters his father has brought to life with much ease. Like an eye-sore, he is placed at the crux of the story forcing rest of the narrative elements to revolve around his character to fan his star power. And that is where the writing fails. Soubin Shahir and Muneer Ali had a simple and beautiful story of two boys and a pigeon tournament that got lost in a commercial mainstream narrative. There’s a good and a bad gang, with clear demarcations of black and white. Fights and sequences have been dragged in for the benefit of the stars. Amidst all this the boys lose their story and the story loses its viewers.
Shane Nigam delivers as young, impulsive, angry and frustrated, just as is expected of him. Arjun Ashokan, son of veteran Harisree Ashokan, sports a dense and long beard. Yet, he emotes through his eyes more than the few dialogues he had. Shine Tom Chacko is in his comfort zone as a good-for-nothing gunda in Mattanchery. Sreenath Bhasi and Soubin Shahir, the bad guys, are menacing. They are all the annoying shades of dark. Here there is a very good breed of actors, but very few female characters of any prominence. But at the end of it all you will still want more of little Irshad and Haseeb, their pigeons and their triumph over the bad men.
However, it is still a movie worth your while for the brilliance in the making. The camera, the background score, music and the boys redeem the visual experience of the film for you. Soubin had a story in Irshad and Haseeb and the pigeon tournament. Their coming of age, love, loss and triumph would have made for a fresh new story in Malayalam cinema. Yet, you see the story get clouded by cliché gang-fights and revenge sidetracks often associated with Mattanchery. However, Soubin still shows promise as a director and this film may still serve as a cover letter to an illustrious repertoire of films he may make in the future.
- Dulquer Salmaan
- Shane Nigam