The Malayalam movie Jallikattu was, on Wednesday (November 25), selected as India’s entry to the Oscars 2021 much to the delight of movie buffs. With the film gaining attention for all the right reasons, here is a look at five things one needs to know about its director Lijo Jose Pellissery.
The beginnings: The maverick storyteller, the son of Malayalam theatre actor Jose Pellissery, worked as an assistant to ad filmmaker Sanjeev Pillai during the initial stages of his career. He soon started directing short films, adding a new dimension to his career. He received critical acclaim for 3, proving his talent.
His first film did not do well at the box office: Pellissery began his feature film career with the 2010 release Nayakan, which featured Indrajith in the lead. The film, revolving around what happens when a Kathakali artiste joins the underworld following a horrific tragedy, failed to make an impact at the box office despite receiving rave reviews. His next directorial venture City of God too proved to be a commercial failure.
A good comeback: Pellissery ultimately tasted success with Amen, set in a small village in Kuttanad. The romantic-drama received rave reviews for its ‘intelligent’ storyline and technical expertise, establishing the director as a force to be reckoned with. The film had a strong cast that included Indrajith, Fahadh Faasil and ‘Colours’ Swathi.
Making his presence felt: The director suffered a big setback when Double Barrel, which hit the screens in 2015, failed to impress critics while opening to a disappointing response at the box office. He bounced back with the action-thriller Angamaly Diaries, which emerged as a gamechanger for Malayalam cinema. A commercial success, it was remade in Telugu as Falaknuma Das. He hit the right notes with Ee.Ma.Yau.
The future looks bright: Pellissery, who holds the distinction of working with established stars at the beginning of his career, apparently has a bright future irrespective of whether Jallikattu helps him create history. The director is currently working on his next film Churuli, touted to be a sci-fi drama. The film has created a buzz among fans as it features a ‘surprise’ element. Many feel, it might be a landmark release for the director.