Do you remember the chicken chase scene from the movie “City of God” ? People running after chicken in the slums of Brazil in an agitated and chaotic manner . Exchange the slums of Brazil for village in Idukki and chicken for buffalo , pour it with huge amount of testosterone and stretch it for 90 minutes and you have a rough idea of what to expect from Jallikattu .
Jallikattu (2019) is a film directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery based on a short story Maoist by S. Hareesh . The movie is about a buffalo which was supposed to be slaughtered going astray and causing chaos . The events that happen during this chaos forms the story behind Jallikattu . Sounds simple right ? In a sense it is a very simple film but as with any good cinema it has multiple layers , nuances and symbolism attached to it .
The film boasts an impressive work in the area of cinematography and one can say the success of this film rides in the shoulders of Gireesh Gangadharan . The incredible cinematic scenes are equally supported by the background score from Prashant Pillai and the sound design by Renganaath Ravee . Lijo Jose Pellissery with his unique way of showing human emotion through his one takes , added a nuanced support to the overall film .
The film moves at a good pace , but with each passing minute it peels off one layer after the other and at one point the differences between man and animal begins to blur . The film through its satirical take , shows how people act when they are involved in an incident and when they aren’t . One can argue that there isn’t any character in this movie . The director and screenwriter never at any point in the film tries to flesh out depth to any one person . They show collective humanity as a character .
The film is also a social commentary on masculinity , and how it does not realise its own destructive power . The movie has many such instances from men stalking absurdly at women , a cop slapping his wife and people making fool out of themselves when chasing the buffalo . If you can imagine buffalo itself as a metaphor to victims of violence , then the actions of men chasing it can be seen as act of desperation that is barely human .
Jallikattu also offers a unique question to audience , that whether even after so many years of evolution are we still on brink of desperation , act similar to that of Neanderthal . Are we even evolved at all ? . Jallikattu can be seen as a film that shatters your preconceived notions and strike a thought even after the film has ended . The film through its exhausting and exhilarating narrative is a horrifying spectacle and a hormonally charged thriller .