Parava is not a movie that specifically talks about pigeon racing. The film uses pigeons as a connecting link to establish a story about friendship that happens on many levels. If any of you have followed Soubin Shahir on his social media platforms, you would know about his peculiar skills at presenting visuals and Parava is pretty much a testimony that he knows to narrate a story by effectively utilizing the visual language of this medium.
I don’t how exactly to present the story to you as there is two disjoint narratives happening in this film. Irashad and Haseeb are these two 15 year old kids who are close friends and have this aspiration to win the pigeon race. They live in a colony in Mattancherry and there is gloominess in most of the elderly characters due to something that happened in the past. The film actually tells us about that past and what happens in the present when these two kids accidentally met a connecting factor in the tale.
The pigeon race is in the backdrop of the script. If you observe in totality Parava is talking about a lot of people in Mattancherry who are trying to get over something harsh that happened in their life. What Soubin and Muneer Ali has done here is a clever mixing of something that is part of the culture of that place in to narrating a story that has an emotional core. The narrative that sort of has this disjoint nature is causing issues. But what are more likeable are the many things that are presented in subtext which adds to the purpose of being a movie that talks about people. Marriage of the 16 year old girl, the way Soubin tries to show the world how Mattancherry is different from what you have seen in films and many other minimal stuff that happens in the story has a statement to make.
The two kids who played the roles of Irashad (Ichappi) and Haseeb were perfect. Amal Shah has earnestness in performance to be Ichappi and Govind as Haseeb delivers the humor very nicely. The cast here is elaborate and if you try to look at the space for each actor in terms of screen time, it will be very less. But they appear in the movie in small portions for the entire run time that you tend to feel that they have played a full fledged role. The prime example would be the character played by Dulquer Salmaan who is hardly there for half an hour, but you feel like he was there in a good part of the film. He was really good as that mentor of the gang. Shane Nigam gets a really juicy character and has done a good job. Arjun Ashokan and Zinil Zainudheen were also fine in their respective roles. Among the seniors Harishree Ashokan, Jaffer Idukki and Indrans has less space when compared to the less yet so effective character played by actor Siddique in the film. The other actors in the cast includes Jacob Gregory, Srinda, Shine Tom Chacko, Soubin himself, Sreenath Bhasi, Ashiq Abu and many other faces that are familiar to us and what I found interesting was that most of them appeared in a character that were different from what we have seen them doing regularly.
More than a peculiar story or making a template story of pigeon racing, Soubin and Muneer Ali are more interested in telling the story of humans. Soubin who has almost 15 years of experience in the film field follows the latest way of conceptualizing emotional drama by presenting it realistically. The humor in the narrative is quite subtle and there is enough background given to almost all the characters in the film. The only problem is the elaborate nature of the content. The story is so elaborate that sometimes you might not get the importance of certain subplots that are there to show us the emotional state of these characters. These subplots and may be the character played by Dulquer Salmaan is worth rereading in my opinion. Littil Swayamp has done a really great job in conceiving the visuals. Rex Vijayan’s peculiar music suits the film and the background score was also very neat. The cuts were precise. The sound design of the movie was also pretty impressive and the sync of sound design, background score, visuals and stunt choreography makes the climax fight look very rough.
People might have this impression that Parava’s targeted audience is kids. Well after watching the film I won’t say that for sure as I found it as a movie that is exploring a lot of characters with the help of these kids and pigeons.
I found it as a movie that is exploring a lot of characters with the help of these kids and pigeons.