Review: Jallikattu (2019 Fantastic Fest)

Title: Jallikattu
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery
Starring: Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins

What It Is: In a small village in India a close-knit community gets a huge surprise when a wild buffalo gets loose. This monstrous beast is going to be hard to wrangle for the residents of this town. Now relying on their wits and a little luck they’re going to try and find…and hopefully kill this animal. The chase is on! Men vs monster in a fight that could prove to be a deadly game for both sides.

What We Think: For all the hype I’d heard throughout the festival about this one I was left quite disappointed. The entire thing just sort of drags along. Everything in the first and second acts is a less enthralling action film and more mundane day to day activities. The opening shot is a little bit of brilliance until the third act escalates. A lot of the acting isn’t the best but it is serviceable enough. Director Lijo Jose Pellissery does deserve some credit for his decisions here. The biggest takeaway from this is the music. My god the music! It is pretty freakin’ fantastic. Almost makes up for the slog the film itself puts you through.

Our Grade: C+, Average. That’s the best I can say about this one. I think the weight of expectation kinda got to this one, unfortunately. There are some elements here that hit. The music as I mentioned is the one big thing. It’s a well-directed but boring snoozer. This isn’t a film I’d recommend to everyone. Those afraid of subtitles are out as the film is in the smaller Indian language of Malayalam. When speaking from a narrative standpoint it could’ve been a bit better paced.

 

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