A madcap hunt for a bull on the loose throws an entire Indian village into a frenzy, leading to a dangerous and visceral clash that can only end in violence in this wildly cinematic, jaw-dropping feature.
One of the most exciting discoveries of the year, Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu is an explosive, tour-de-force chase film that has more than just meat on its mind. Opening with an invigorating score and blissfully chaotic visuals, Pellissery introduces the morning routines of a small Indian village and the drama that exists behind closed doors. After the butcher’s bull (and the village’s primary meat source) escapes and begins to wreak havoc on the local shops, an immense hunt begins. The bull clearly has no prejudice as it tramples across socio-economic lines, infuriating everyone in its wake. A raging bloodlust consumes all involved when a heralded hunter, who’d been exiled from the community, is enlisted to kill the bull. What begins as a normal day turns into a near-apocalyptic war zone that lays bare the town’s pernicious patriarchy and the folly of man’s destructive ego. Although the title refers to the traditional — and controversial — event in which a crowd attempts to stop a bucking bull, Pellissery’s new film relishes the nerve-racking chaos that ensues when hundreds of men begin to act like beasts.
CAST: ANTHONY VARGHESE, CHEMBAN VINOD JOSE, SABUMON ABDUSAMAD, SANTHY BALACHANDRAN
In Competition: Narrative Feature Award
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