Moments do not just pass by in Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu. Every one of them is accounted for, the tick-tocks of an unusually loud clock making sure you notice an eyelid opening, a breath inhaled. The movie begins in darkness, switches to daylight and goes back to the comforts of a night lit by flickering torches. Before you dwell into the tale of a buffalo on the loose and the many meanings the script brings, you learn to immerse yourself in the moments, one after another.
Lijo’s brilliance is almost taken for granted, a given. Word had travelled faster than the movie, about the applause it had won from people who didn’t know the language. It’s not easy to shake off the pressure and watch Jallikattu on a clean slate.