Starring: Mammootty, Iniya, Miya
Director: Sharrath Sandith
Producer: Antony D’Cruz
Music: Sharreth, Ellwyn Joshua
A prisoner, who is much loved by his inmates and police officers, gets parole after spending eight years in jail. How the communist and the model family man ends up in prison and how he tries to mend his severed relationships within the ticking parole-time form the plot.
Towards the mid of the first half of Parole, a group of policemen and soldiers chase Suraj Venjaramoodu’s character, Varghese, out of a church. In between the chase, a police constable trips on a log and falls while others move ahead trying to catch up with Varghese. The scene though lingers on the fallen constable, focusing on the abrasions on his elbows and knees, and his stinging pain from the fall. In the context of the movie, the constable or his injuries are inconsequential and yet ad filmmaker Sharrath Sandith, who makes his feature film debut with Parole, finds it interesting enough to devote time to the scene. It is sequences like these, which digress from the film’s central plot, which holds the movie back.
The movie starts with introducing Alex (Mammootty) as a prisoner, who is loved by his inmates and police officers. The first half focuses on how Alex, who has a heart of gold, ends up in prison. The flashback scenes are aimed at establishing Alex as a family man and also a communist who strictly adheres to its principles. A particular instance involving Varghese, Alex’s brother in law, gets both those elements tangled, forcing Alex to sacrifice one for the other.
The script’s unevenness is exposed most in the first half, which serves as a glossy melodrama. It has bone-crunching action scenes, Good Samaritan acts that elevate the hero’s persona and also a romance where the female protagonist falls for the hero’s chivalry. The director finds it tough to keep the proceedings tight up until the jolting scene at the interval, which reveals the reason for his jail term. However, the movie takes a different form in the engaging, thrilling second half when Alex tries to mend his severed relationships within the ticking parole-time.
Both halves thoughThe director finds it tough to keep the proceedings tight up until the jolting scene at the interval, which reveals the reason for his jail term. However, the movie takes a different form in the engaging, thrilling second half when Alex tries to mend his severed relationships within the ticking parole-time. have Mammootty in his A-game, more with his performance than stardom this time around. As a brother going out of his way to help his step sister and a father trying to reconcile with his son, the film depends entirely on him to make it work and he doesn’t disappoint. The film also has a few moving sequences – some work wonderfully and some don’t – but it makes it clear that if armed with scripts that demand performance, Mammootty will knock it out of the park.
Miya as Alex’s sister Katrina, Ineya his wife Annie and Siddique’s his confidante Abu do justice to their roles despite the limited screen time. But it’s Suraj, whose shady actions have far-reaching repercussions to Alex’s family, who has a meaty part in the movie. The film has some colourful and uncluttered frames; in fact too clean sometimes – especially the jail sequences. Parole has the elements that would appeal to a family audience – action, drama and sentiments – but a taut script and trimmed first half would have made it an even more engaging venture.