India’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards – Jallikattu is a Malayalam action film directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery that was released in 2019.
For the people who don’t know, Jallikattu is a traditional event in which an enraged bull is released into the crowd and people participating in the event try to gain control over the bull as it tries to escape. The movie is set in a village and revolves around the same plot but rather than an organized event, in this case, the situation is unwarranted.
A bull, while being prepared for slaughter, runs away triggering a chain of events within the village. The entire movie is focused on getting control over the bull. The one who succeeds at this is considered to be the alpha male. So in short, it shows the human nature of dominance with the help of masculine power.
Why it deserves the opportunity it got?
The movie Jallikattu is a perfect example of organized chaos that keeps you on the edge of your seat with its immersive action sequences and carefully choreographed events. The viewer is going to be unsettled yet amazed by the events he/she going to witness as the film progresses. It does not waste time on building up the story before the actual battle takes place but rather drops the viewer directly into the war. Thus giving a no breather experience to the audience.
Lijo Jose Pellissery is known to be a fan of one-take shots in his movies. The same thing can be witnessed here, where long continuous shots with the characters moving make viewers feel as if they are present in that frame. Despite the large number of characters that the movie showcases in most of the scenes, they see none of the characters to be redundant. Each character has a role to play that may be a dialogue or mere an action. The film showcase several subplots that only enhance the viewing experience without dragging us away from the main plot. Carefully timed entries and exits of various characters into the story keeps the viewer engaged.
The climax of the movie can no doubt be considered the best in Indian cinema. The intensifying battle of the villagers to capture the animal and prove that they are the best shows us a raw and cruel side of human nature. For a moment, it takes the viewer to ancient times by making us believe that we are not actually evolved and civilized as we think we are. The whole ride convinces you that when put in a situation, humans tend to show their innate animal instincts.
Apart from the director, there are other important people who are part of this amazing movie: Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad, and Santhy Balachandran are the leading stars in the movie. Girish Gangadharan, the cinematographer of the movie is the magician behind the extraordinary visuals, Music by Prashant Pillai and Ranganathan Ravi among others.