Unconventional, Innovative, Entertaining and Allegorical.
This film might be based around an animal that goes amok but is actually meant to give us a scathing view of the humans trying to chase it.
Cast – Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon, Abdusamad, Santhy Balachandran, Jaffar Idukki
Director – Lijo Jose Pellissery
Writers – S. Hareesh, R. Jayakumar
Based on – Maoist by S. Hareesh
Music – Prashant Pillai
Cinematography – Girish Gangadharan
Editing – Jeetu Joseph
In a small Kerala village, hell breaks loose when a bull escapes while about to be butchered and runs amok. With the police refusing to help since the killing is illegal, villagers take the matter into their own hands. And then begins a mad scramble for the bull and for claims and credits. There’s a virtual circus displaying up-manship, machismo and personal rivalry.
While there are hoards chasing the bull, somewhere there’s a misogynist wife-beating cop, there’s a wealthy man obsessing about food to be served at his daughters wedding, there’s a girl who attempts elopement and two men vying for a woman’s attention and love.
The whole ruckus around a poor animal ends up showing the humans around it at their animalistic best! Pun intended!
With its striking background score and cinematography, the film has your attention right from the word go. Everything that’s a part of nature has a sound and Pillai makes it a part of his unique rhythm. The huffs and puffs, drums, cricket chirping, leaves rustling, water, rain pattering and the beats ensure that the storytelling is supremely encompassing.
Gangadharan’s camera, with his close ups, angles and chases ensures that you are mega-aware of what you view.
The director’s offbeat storytelling that is is not only experimental and unique but highly engaging and entertaining is supremely impressive. The way he has woven the metaphors in every element of the story is mind blowing. The best part is that he lets you decipher it rather than pushing it forward.
Through out this hullabaloo, which is thought provoking, unpleasant and even hilarious at times, we get a peep into so many human instincts like blatant machismo, greed, misogyny, toxic masculinity etc, human behaviours at their raw most.
This film that is deservedly India’s entry to Oscars 2012, is highly recommended for its superlative story telling style combined with its music, cinematography and scathing metaphoric element.