The most stressful parts of living in any of the large cities worldwide are traffic and finding parking space. It is a mystery, but even the most courteous people turn aggressive when stuck in a traffic jam or when someone cuts your way and parks their vehicle. Director Ramkumar Balakrishnan has taken this simple idea of parking troubles and made a film that we can easily relate to. And that makes me recommend this Harish Kalyan film and award a Mangoidiots Ripe.

In a middle-class area near Kundrathur, M S Bhaskar, a local municipal officer lives in a rented house with his wife and college-going daughter. In comes Harish Kalyan and his love wife Indhuja to rent the floor above in the independent house. As good neighbours, both families get along well and warmly with one another. Soon, Harish Kalyan buys a car for the comfort of his pregnant wife, which introduces the need to share the single-car parking space in the house between M S Bhaskar‘s bike and Harish‘s new car.  What starts with bonhomie and courteous adjustments, gradually turns into an all-out war between the two. The way this rivalry develops due to an unbridled ego trip was scripted brilliantly – there are no sudden turns.

The women in the film, the spouses of the two men in war, and Bhaskar‘s young daughter are not sidekicks – yes, they don’t have power in the family but they emerge as voices of reason and empathy. In a refreshing departure from Kollywood’s typical hero-villain dynamics, Parking presents a cast of flawed yet relatable characters.

Near the climax, the film does take an ugly shade with fist-fights but M S Bhaskar manages to deliver that part too with maturity and grace – featuring any other actor without that level of experience would’ve descended that tussle into routine rowdyism – and away from the common man vibe of the film.

Parking (2023) is sure to remain in your memory for a long time and certainly every time you meet your neighbour in your apartment’s parking lot.

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