Jallikattu is a 2019 Indian Malayalam-language action film directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery and written by S. Hareesh and R. Jayakumar. The film stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad and Santhy Balachandran. It is based on the short story "Maoist" by Hareesh.
The film takes place in a remote village in Kerala, where a butcher named Kuttachan (Sabumon Abdusamad) is getting ready to kill a buffalo for his daughter's wedding feast. However, the buffalo escapes and runs into the nearby forest. The villagers, led by Kuttan (Chemban Vinod Jose) and his friends, begin a frenzied hunt for the animal. As the hunt progresses, tensions rise and old grudges come to the surface, leading to a series of violent confrontations.
Meanwhile, a young man named Antony (Antony Varghese) returns to the village after a long absence. He had left to work in the Gulf, but has now come back with a lot of money and a fancy car. This sets off a chain of events that leads to a showdown between Antony and Kuttan.
Jallikattu is a film that defies easy categorization. It is part action movie, part black comedy, and part social commentary. The film's director, Lijo Jose Pellissery, has a reputation for making unconventional films that push the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in mainstream cinema. Jallikattu is no exception.
The film's title refers to a traditional bull-taming sport that is popular in Tamil Nadu. However, the film is not about the sport itself, but rather uses it as a metaphor for the primal instincts of human beings. The film explores themes such as violence, masculinity, and mob mentality, and asks uncomfortable questions about the nature of humanity.
The film is anchored by some strong performances from its cast. Antony Varghese, who made his debut in Pellissery's previous film, Angamaly Diaries, is excellent as the brash and impulsive Antony. Chemban Vinod Jose, who has worked with Pellissery on several films, is also great as the more level-headed Kuttan. Sabumon Abdusamad, who plays the butcher, delivers a nuanced and understated performance.
The film's technical aspects are also noteworthy. Cinematographer Girish Gangadharan does an excellent job of capturing the beauty of the Kerala landscape, while also conveying the sense of chaos and confusion that permeates the film. The film's sound design, by Renganaath Ravee, is also top-notch, with the cacophony of animal sounds and human voices creating an immersive audio experience.
Jallikattu has received widespread critical acclaim since its release, with many critics hailing it as a masterpiece. The film was also India's official entry to the 93rd Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category. However, it was not nominated.
In conclusion, Jallikattu is a bold and uncompromising film that will leave a lasting impression on viewers. It is a film that challenges conventional notions of storytelling and forces the audience to confront uncomfortable truths about the human condition. Highly recommended for fans of bold, unconventional cinema.