"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

JALLIKATTU (Malayalam/2019) - A jaw dropping, visual experiment that forces you to think, how the hell they pulled it off with such conviction & perfection without any story telling as such. (Movies To See Before You Die - Adventure)

13 Nov, 2019 | Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi) / Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases / Movies To See Before You Die / Adventure

Have always been stressing upon the fact that cinema is the most impactful art of story-telling through the powerful medium of visuals and sound. However, at times we also witness cinema creating sheer magic without having any emphasis on a storyline, entirely focusing on metaphors, mesmerizingly conveyed through its powerful visuals and sound.
Lijo Jose Pellissery’s JALLIKATTU is exactly that kind of a rare film, which just revolves around a buffalo escaping its slaughter, running into the village, fields, forests and the villagers trying to win it over risking their own lives. Nothing to do with the real life sport, it’s a 90-minute long continuous depiction of struggle of people with the animal or of the animal with the people presented along thoughtful metaphors to catch and contemplate upon.
Adapted from S. Hareesh’s short story titled Maoist, it’s a brave, experimental attempt that keeps you involved both through its outstanding visuals and a highly innovative sound structure deserving loud praises. A textbook example of unconventional, experimental cinema, JALLIKATTU at first grabs you through its sound/background music and then the visuals take over as it progresses creating some unbelievable kind of sequences like never seen before.
The exceptional use of the sound of a ticking clock, human breathing and the choir singing in an unusual manner along with the cinematography, lighting and editing creates a jaw dropping ambience in the first 40 minutes of the film before the next half literally stuns you with hundreds of people chasing the buffalo with torches during a dark night. Though many other sub-plots (about the man-woman relationships and more) have their own importance in the narrative coming at various point of the film, but it’s the most obvious metaphor pointing towards the man and the animal, which truly excels in the end and I was really watching the film just like a stone when the pyramid of humans got made in its finale in an incredible manner.
Honestly, the only thing I had in mind at that moment was that how the hell did the director and his team along with hundreds of performers managed to shoot this very sequence so amazingly beyond imagination. To be specific, such visuals can surely be thought of and drawn too in a story board by a talented visualizer, but to shoot it involving so many people in such majestic way can easily be termed as ‘Excellence achieved out of absurdity’ by a blessed creative team and nothing else.
However, apart from being a strictly not to be missed cinematic achievement of our Indian cinema of the present era, JALLIKATTU also reminds us of a fact that such films essentially need to be experienced at the big screen, as their real impact can actually be felt in that kind of ambience only and not on the 5-7 or 40 inch screens. Hence now when you will be watching the film on the online platform post reading this write-up, you would readily realize the fact without any slightest of doubt with a pinch of regret.
Having said that, the film also might not be able to reach out or impress many, who are used to watch their cinema in a fixed kind of format, unwilling to make way for some mad, unconceivable experimental creation.
But even if you find yourself in the above bracket, still do try to watch this unmissable film as a must, since we don’t get to witness this kind of treatment, visuals, sound, performances and execution often on screen, pulled off with such conviction and perfection without any story telling as such.
Directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery
Writers: R. Jayakumar, Hareesh S.
Cinematography: Gireesh Gangadharan Music: Prashant Pillai

Cast: Anthony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad, Santhy Balachandran, Jaffer Idukki and more. 

: At the time of writing this article the film could be seen at Amazon Prime Video for a subscription) 

Tags : JALLIKATTU (Malayalam) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Movies To See Before You Die List By Bobby Sing, Must Watch Movies List by Bobby Sing, Not To Missed Indian Films, Indian Regional Movies Gems.
13 Nov 2019 / Comment ( 2 )
Avik Mitra

Some 2-3 years back I had watched Angamaly Diaries and was completely taken aback with the climax sequence shot. Then I watched this and didn't even try to imagine how they shoot major part of this gem.

P.S. This might not be likeable to all. But for those who would like it, only grievance would be - not being able to watch it on big screen

Bobby Sing

That is very true Avik.
This was such a majestic experience on the big screen.
Do try to catch it whenever its possible in any festival or so in the coming times.

Leave A Comment
E-mail (will not be published)
Website (Optional)
Enter shown code