January 24, 2022
  • January 24, 2022

Meet the man behind ‘Jallikattu’

By on December 4, 2020 0 144 Views

Lijo Jose Pellissery, the maker of India’s Oscar entry this year, is a driven, perfectionist director who accepts success and failure with equanimity

There’s a new star in Indian cinema. He doesn’t make movies in Hindi. He’s neither flamboyant like Karan Johar or long-haired-and-khadi-kurta-clad like Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Instead, he is a carelessly dressed, portly man of 42 who has made seven films in a decade. And last week, he established himself as a major director on the national scene, with his 2019 movie, Jallikattu, selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars.

It is any director’s moment to shine in the spotlight. Yet, if you ask Lijo Jose Pellissery who he is, he will say you’ll find the answer on the screen. He is not giving any interviews because he is busy with the post-production work of Churuli, his latest about two men who set out to find someone in the woods, lose track of time and miss the last bus to civilisation. It sounds like a retelling of the Sisyphus paradox. But there is no way to be sure, since he is so cagey.

2020 has been a hard year: Pellissery has weathered personal tragedies as well as the fact that the film won’t release in theatres due to covid-19 restrictions. On a particularly anxiety-ridden day, he wrote an email to Christopher Nolan, the British-American director he considers a guru.

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