Going by the track records and history of Mammootty’s movies where he has enacted the role of a prisoner, we can definitely expect something special for his latest flick titled Parole which also has a prison background in the storyline. Munnariyippu, Mathilukal, Yathra, New Delhi, Nirakkoottu are all classic examples where prison played a vital role and the actor had to spent time in jail. These movies were all either critically acclaimed or went on to make a huge presence at the box office. There are exceptions but overall if you analyze, you will notice that the actor’s career has produced some notable movies with prison as a backdrop.
Parole, the movie directed by ad film maker and debutant Sharrath Sandith that claims to be inspired from a true story has some finer moments in the second half with the presence of the actor making those sequences special but overall the film end up as a very ordinary one. The screenplay which was struggling to come up with something impressive in the initial stages with some lackluster scenes especially the moments inside the prison is the chief architect of pulling the graph down.
The story of Parole begins from the Central Prisons where Alex is serving sentence. From here, we are taken to the past on how Alex ended up in prison. Flashback story of Alex and the subplot that develop after Alex gets parol is what this movie portray. Not a bad plot when the synopsis is naratted but when the story was developed by adding the necessary ingredients into a screenplay, there the situation changed.
It should also be said that this isn’t the badly made movie ever. It is just that the overall feel one would get after watching the movie is of discontent rather than contentment. All the prison sequences that are part of the film’s pre-intermission stage was literally taking a heavy toll on the film due to below average dialogues, overdose of drama and below par performances from the supporting actors.
For Mammootty, the role of Alex when his flashback is narrated was way too simple that never challenged him as an actor. Even in the present as an aged Alex, situations were never challenging enough to test the acting brilliance of the actor. But he has an uncanny nack to pull things and make moments special when it comes to the sentimental and emotional scenes.That’s exactly what happened here too. Those emotional scenes of the latter stages were given the right expressions and dialogue delivery to make them look natural and convincing.
There is a long line of supporting actors who appear and vanishes without a trace. Lalu Alex, Alencier Lay, Sudheer Karamana, Krishnakumar, Muthamani to name a few are all belonging to that elite group that comes at some stages in the film and does the vanishing act without being given a chance to make a notable contribution.
Siddhique who played the role of Abdu, the closest buddy of Alex had very little role to play but even then he was able to make his presence felt as usual. Suraj Venjaramoodu had a half baked character at his disposal and it was surprisingly a disappointing act from him this time. Blame should primarily go to the way in which that character was structured and placed in the story. Miya and Iniya were the two female leads and about them I would say it was a way too melodramatic performance from the former. Iniya who played the better half of Alex was okay.
All the technical aspects weren’t that great. Songs were decent enough but background score, cuts, cinematography etc were all in the red zone that couldn’t make a contribution to elevate the film to a better level. Direction was poor and making style was pretty orthodox. Screenplay tried too many things to incorporate and with an outdated making style along with a predictable narrative gives nothing for the audience to rejoice in the end.
Parole is an emotional drama that moves at a very lethargic pace. Outline of the story is good but the presentation and direction makes the viewing experience an underwhelming one. Inspite of Mammootty making sincere attempt to score high through the emotional scenes towards the final stage, the damage done to the film through other factors forces Parole to disappear from our memory way too quickly after watching.