Parole (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


‘Parole’ is a film that hardly has anything original or memorable about it. Trying hard to cash in on an actor’s stardom, it throws in liberal doses of political and familial sentiments hoping to workup the goose bumps, none of which serves any purpose.


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Alex (Mammootty) has been in prison for eight years, and when news arrives that he has been allowed to head back home for fifteen days on parole, the man is overjoyed. Longing to see his estranged son, Alex sets out, only to discover that eight years have been quite a long time, and that his son isn’t someone whom he recognizes any more.

There is hardly anything in ‘Parole’ that lets a whiff of fresh air blow in; the prison is ridden with stereotypes, ranging from the petty thief to the drug addict, the lone singer to the victim of circumstances, the pretty boy to the predator rapist lying in wait. They are all here with their fleeting flashbacks, and along with Alex, complete the customary jail portrait.

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It doesn’t help at all that Alex is a self-proclaimed Communist, who is obsessed with seeing to it that the pole with the red flag doesn’t come down. He heads a farmers’ cooperative unit, and talks animatedly of his dad (Alenicer) who had delivered a sharp blow across the chieftain’s face, thereby sowing the seeds of Communism in the land. There are exhortations and even songs to blow up the revolutionary spirit, but very little that actually works.

When you have an inmate named Bullet Raghavan who frowns and grunts like a bull, you have enough intelligence to realize that this is the man who has been earmarked to establish Alex’s prowess. You wait for the scene, and it soon arrives, when Alex smoothly flings him across the air, ensuring that no further bullet is fired. Lesson learned, and you even have the bully matching a few steps to a song that is being sung to celebrate Alex’s temporary exit from the jail.

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Alex is granted ‘Parole’ but not before the inmates break out into a song and dance routine while accompanying him on his way out. The event apparently calls for celebration, and the man makes his way out into the world, with a smile on his lips, while his fellow inhabitants prance around in what seems like uninhibited glee.

This perhaps is how farfetched from real life the entire jail in ‘Parole’ seems to be. It almost appears that the prison has been transformed into a place that is cinematically appealing, with a tree trunk that looks like an artefact strategically placed against a wall, rendering it a perfect frame, whichever way you look at it.

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While watching ‘Parole’ one fervently wishes that just as the protagonist Alex, Mammootty would emerge on a self-imposed break from the four walls of irrational films that he has of late limited himself to, and offer us at least glimpses of what we know this amazing actor is capable of. It’s truly disheartening to see him waste away his potentials in misadventures as this.

It also remains that the actor is probably the only redeeming feature in this film, that also has several other renowned performers lined up in the cast. Mia George makes a decent appearance, and so does Iniya, while others like Suraj Venjarammoodu, Siddique, V K Prakash, Alencier, Krishnakumar, Lalu Alex and Sudheer Karamana, appear in supporting roles.

‘Parole’ is a film that hardly has anything original or memorable about it. Trying hard to cash in on an actor’s stardom, it throws in liberal doses of political and familial sentiments hoping to workup the goose bumps, none of which serves any purpose.


Verdict: Average


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