Jallikattu Is India’s Entry for Oscars 2021: Five Reasons Why Lijo Jose Pelissery’s Malayalam Film Feels the Right Choice!

Jallikattu Is India’s Entry for Oscars 2021: Five Reasons Why Lijo Jose Pelissery’s Malayalam Film Feels the Right Choice!

Jallikattu became the third movie from Malayalam Cinema to be India’s official entry for Oscars, after Guru (1997) and Adaminte Makan Abu (2011). It will compete with the many other entries from other countries for to reach the top five nominees for the Best International Feature Film at Oscars 2021. Jallikattu, directed by the maverick Lijo Jose Pellissery, is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video in India, so you can check it there to see why Twitterati is celebrating its selection. Oscars 2021: Jallikattu Is India’s Official Entry in International Feature Film Category at 93rd Academy Awards; Here’s Where You Can Watch The Malayalam Film Online.

Starring Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad and Santhy Balachandran, Jallikattu came out in 2019. The movie is about how a bull escapes from a slaughterhouse and in its ensuing escape for life, leaves the village in chaos. The men in the village try to capture it to no avail, blame-games are done and egos and emotions are running high, leading to a murderous conclusion.

It is a fine piece of cinema, pretty gritty and impactful, even if it isn’t LJP’s best work (That goes to the incredible Angamaly Diaries). Let’s look at five factors that make Jallikattu an incredible choice to be sent to Oscars, even if it has a difficult chance to reach the top five (Ask Aamir Khan. You really need to push the film hard!)

Impactful Piece of Cinema With a Universal Message

A Still from Jallikattu

When you are done with Jallikattu, you will be stunned by what you have just experienced. It is provocative, occasionally gut-wrenching, especially the climax, and is quite topical. Through the movie, LJP exposes the dormant animalistic nature hidden in humans (the animated end-credit sequence denote that we may not have shed our caveman tendencies). It has no distractions, no needless romantic subplots, but just dealing with primal instincts within humans, especially men to establish their boundaries of control and the lengths they will go to achieve it. Jallikattu is definitely a commentary on the present times, where Hate is raging everywhere. Something the Academy Award jury can relate to. It is also pacy, engaging and yet doesn’t compromise on the artistic sensibilities.

But Doesn’t Ignore the Local Flavour

A Still from Jallikattu

Jallikattu, while speaking an universal message, is very local in its essence, never ditching its rural setting in plush Kerala village. Considering that the previous Indian movies that finally got nominated at the Oscars – Mother India, Salaam Bombay and Lagaan – have this distinct feature of Indian diaspora appeal. This might be a very minor aspect, but it definitely matters.

Technically Brilliant

A Still from Jallikattu

I believe that whoever works as an editor in a Edgar Wright movie and a cinematographer in a LJP movie would need to sweat buckets of blood, but would produce their best work as a result. n Jallikattu, Pellissery’s frequent collaborator Girish Gangadharan’s camerawork is simply astounding. While the film may not have that epic 11-minute single take in Angamaly Diaries, the long sweeping shots create a dire sense of urgency. Not just the frames, but even the editing, sound design and the background score are excellent. The highlight of course is that bloody, claustrophobic climax scene that leaves you stunned. Lijo Jose Pellissery Birthday Special: From Nayakan to Jallikattu, Ranking All His Films From Worst to Best (And Where to Watch Them Online).

The Festival Rounds 

Lijo Jose Pellissery during the Shoot of Jallikattu

There has been a chatter that Chaitanya Tamhane’s brilliant The Disciple should have been a better choice, an opinion strongly supported by popular columnist and critic, Aseem Chhabra. The Disciple has been a festival darling this year, and that would have given it some recognition among the jury peers. While that is a good reasoning and The Disciple is a great choice too, Jallikattu also had its rounds at the festivals last year. It has its premiere at 2019 Toronto International Film Festival  and then was showcased at the 24th Busan International Film Festival. At both the festivals, the film earned good reviews.

That said, both Jallikattu and The Disciple haven’t received the kind of attention that the South Korean film Parasite got last year, which made it an easy entry into the final nominations (and then winning the category, as well as Best Picture award).

It’s Original!

A Still from Jallikattu

Last year, the Film Federation of India (FFI) received some criticism for sending Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy as our entry for Oscar’s shortlist. While Gully Boy is a good film, people pointed out the similarities the movie shared with Eminem’s 8 Mile which could ruin its chances at Oscars. While we don’t know if that was the reason, but Gully Boy didn’t make it past the first round. While it does share influences of the works of other great filmmakers, Jallikattu is at least original. And it is really good!

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Nov 27, 2020 07:34 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

About Charles 50167 Articles
Charles writes for the Headline column of the website. He has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism. He has worked for more than 1.5 years in a media house. Now, he joined our team as a contributor for covering the latest US headlines. He is smart both by him looks and nature. He is very good with everyone in the team.

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