Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Churuli makes us walk the tightrope between mind-blown and mind-fucked

Posted on February 12, 2021



Usually films come full-circle. But here, it’s like a hypnotist’s wheel. From the centre-point of the inciting incident, the narrative (and your head) spins further and further away into an unending whirlpool.

Spoilers ahead…

The one thing you can say for sure about Lijo Jose Pellissery: he doesn’t do ordinary. The closest he came to that flavour was with his generic first feature, Nayakan. Thereon, he made a hyperlinked drama in City of God, a rapturous romance in Amen, a Tarantino/Guy Ritchie-esque stoner-caper in Double Barrel, a celebration of food and testosterone in Angamaly Diaries, a dramedy about death in Ee.Ma.Yau, and an Expressionistic allegory (men run amuck like a buffalo running amuck) in Jallikattu. You may like some of these films, dislike some others, but here’s the other thing you can say for sure about Lijo Jose Pellissery: he detests being labelled. He doesn’t make the same move twice. He doesn’t even make the same aesthetic choice twice. If Angamaly Diaries ended with an uninterrupted twelve-minute tracking shot, his follow-up, Ee.Ma.Yau, began with an uninterrupted static shot.

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