“Parava”… A movie with a lot of heart, but marred by two conflicting narratives

Posted on September 26, 2017


Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/parava-movie-review

How do you steal a fish from someone’s house and bring it back to yours, with no equipment but a pair of bicycles? Soubin Shahir’s Parava (Bird) – written by Shahir and Muneer Ali – opens with the answer, and during this stretch, cinematographer Littil Swayamp gives us a guided tour of Mattancherry. The camera squeezes into tiny alleys. It soars over the terraces of cramped flats. A little later, it bobs about in a kitchen, mimicking the bobbing neck of a pigeon. You’ve heard of the bird’s-eye point of view. Parava gives us the pigeon’s-eye point of view. The film spends a lot of time in the sky. Why? Because the protagonists, two boys named Irshad (Amal Shah) and Haseeb (Govind Pai, who’s wonderfully raw), are into pigeon racing.

But they can wait. The characters around them can wait. Their conflicts can wait. Like Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu and Angamaly Diaries, Parava is, foremost, a record of a certain way of life. It’s about the men playing carrom. It’s about the creepy pharmacist, who exploits the woman who works for him by directing her to the shelf with condoms. It’s about the man seated near the fish cart, who leaves when he hears the prayer call from the mosque. It’s about making fish biriyani. It’s about making manja for a kite. It’s about the son who returns home after three years, upon hearing of his father’s death. It’s about a wedding celebration. It’s about how Kamal Haasan’s kissing scenes influence young boys.

Continued at the link above.

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