Movie Title: Jallilkettu
Director: Lijo Jose Pellisery
Producer: Thomas Panicker
Writer: S Hareesh, R Jayakumar
Music Director: Prashanth Pillai
Cinematography: Gireesh Gangadharan
Cast: Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad, Antony Varghese, Santhy Balachandran
The movie is shot in a remote village surrounded by hills and forests. The film is centered on a buffalo who escapes from the slaughter shed and runs havoc in the village. The incidents that follow are depicted through spectacular and spell bounding visuals. The movie is shot in Kattappana and almost everyone in the village is in the movie. The buffalo causes uproar and confusion among the villagers as it destroys everything on its way. The story is based on this situation.
The story takes a twist when Chemban Vinod (Varkey) the village butcher and his men mess up with the slaughtering of a buffalo. The whole village joins hand to recapture it as it creates havoc. As the rampage follows, the shades of each character of the village are told and we get the glimpses of hatred and jealousies that divide them from each other. The arrival of Sabumon Abdusamad (Kuttachan) rekindles an old enmity between Kuttachan and Antony. Antony becomes more aggressive and competitive in capturing the buffalo. There are a few situations where we have a lighter moment in the movie. It’s the scene where the villagers come to buy meat before mass and hang on a tree until the mass is over.
Chemban Vinod (Varkey) the butcher, Antony Varghese (Antony) his assistant, Sabumon Abdusamad(Kattuchan) and Santhy the butcher’s sister have made an impact and have made their screen presence felt in their limited roles.
Lijo Jose is famous for his films on chaos and huge crowds like his earlier films Angamaly Diaries, Amen and Ee Ma Yau. In Jallikettu he has brought in a grotesque stampede and people are seen tossed aloft by the buffalo. The movie focuses on the different types of frenzied villagers- the butcher, the outlaws, the police officer, etc. It becomes a matter of pride to see who will capture the buffalo. Every man is trying to prove his masculinity. In due course, the whole village is trying to catch the animal and in that process, reveals how a man becomes wild at times. Lijo has indirectly tried to depict the male ego and how beastly a human could become.
The background score plays a very important role in the whole movie. Prashanth Pillai and Cinematographer Gireesh Gangadharan have both scored in synchronizing the music and visuals beautifully. The subtle shades of music during the frenzied chaos creates an eerie feeling. It is a movie that will be remembered for all the havoc created by a buffalo and for keeping the viewers gripped. The various facets of man’s emotions – lust, jealousy, ego, panic, and fear reveal the beast within human beings and it is well depicted in this movie by Lijo.
Jallikettu a 95-minute movie is unnerving, exciting and is an atrocious experience. It is a visual extravaganza.