“Jallikattu”… Lijo Jose Pellissery gives a masterclass on how to make a movie that’s both experimental and entertaining

Posted on October 7, 2019


The invention, the joyous energy in the filmmaking left me with such a high that I didn’t particularly care that it all has to ‘mean’ something.

Spoilers ahead…

You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/jallikattu-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-lijo-jose-pellissery-antony-varghese-santhy-balachandran/

In Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu, a buffalo escapes slaughter and runs amuck in a village in Idukki. How dangerous does this situation sound? I mean, it’s a buffalo, not – say – a leopard. And it’s not exactly been drugged and prodded and provoked, like in the Tamil Nadu bull-taming event the title suggests. So are we to imagine this most bucolic of creatures on a rampage – running nonstop for the ninety-minute duration of the film, causing fires and devastating crops? But this absurdity is an integral part of this narrative, adapted from S Hareesh’s short story, Maoist. I Googled up the story, and found that it has a second buffalo, and that it’s about the Maoist situation and a person’s right to freedom. Even in the movie, the buffalo is a metaphor. But Jallikattu, is first and foremost, a textbook example of how to make an experimental movie that’s also a most entertaining movie.

Continued at the link above.

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