Duration: 151 minutes
Cast: Chemban Vinod, Antony Varghese, Sabumon
Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery
In Jallikattu, master filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery narrates the story of a hilly village terrorised by the presence of a rogue buffalo that is on the run. It is an adaptation of S. Hareesh’s short story Maoist and screenplay is written by R. Jayakumar and S. Hareesh himself. A buffalo gives two butchers, Kaalan Varkey and Antony, a slip while they were preparing to kill it. An injured buffalo is on the run and the entire village is after it. While we gauge the persistence of the energetic villagers who sweat it out to catch the creature before it makes any trouble in the remote village, things turn out to be horrifying and get bloody and gory with each step. The story is a clear cut socio-political allegory, which also talks about anger and hate that burn unrelentingly among a group of people. And the buffalo is sometimes used as a metaphor for victims of violence in volatile moments created by human folly.
LJP has already set a standard with his earlier movies with cult status, especially Angamali Diaries, Ee. Ma. Yau and Amen. Since Amen, Lijo has had no reason to look back and it’s always an extra pressure to keep up with that standard. And Jallikattu has crossed that ‘Lijo benchmark’, on a higher, better note. In India, it is not a common for a movie to hold a position in the audience’s heart for its director’s name rather than the stars who acted in it. Lijo is among those filmmakers whose names are their films’ USP. With exceptional, out-of-the-world making of Jallikattu, he has just raised the bar a bit higher, which is not likely to be crossed by anyone else.
Jallikattu has hit the screens after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to rave reviews. And it is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most anticipated Malayalam movie of the year so far. And at the cinema, it never fails to amaze the audience.
LJP has a group of actors he normally associates with and his usual suspects Chemban Vinod and Antony Varghese have brought in the best in them. Another surprise package in the cast is Sabumon who gives an outstanding performance as the character called Kuttachan, who is as raw as a bull.
Cinematography and BGM are another two great factors of Jallikattu like any other LJP movie. Girish Gangadharan’s magical visuals are second to none. There are some never-seen-before cinematography skills in Mollywood. His visuals convey a feeling that the audience is on the run or you are staring at the buffalo, which is ready to charge, and contributes to the general sense of apprehension. It's a sensational achievement in the realm of sensational filmmaking and a kind of aesthetic experience that is unique to movies. Prashant Pillai’s original BGM is bone-chilling and induces excitement and terror. He masterly uses even the beast’s growling in the BGM.
It is gory, violent, mad and causes an adrenaline rush. In Mollywood, there has not been an adventure thriller quite as terrifying yet enjoyable as Jallikattu in the recent times and it will remain on top for many years to come....