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If “unique” did not have synonyms, it would be repeated throughout this write-up, because uniqueness is what Mollywood turned out month after month in 2019. In Jallikattu, the beast within men surfaced as an entire village gave chase to a buffalo gone berserk. Director Lijo Jose Pellissery blended the pounding of the animal’s hooves with the bloodcurdling yells of its human predators and every breath taken by every individual in the film to create an unprecedented percussion ensemble in one of the most striking cinematic indictments of patriarchy you could possibly (not) imagine.
Despite being a centre of great cinema, Mollywood continues to have very few leading roles for women. Manu Ashokan’s Uyare gave Parvathy an opportunity to seal her position as one of this industry’s finest while playing an acid-attack survivor who does not succumb to depression and despair. Tovino Thomas gets to be the heroine’s loveable ally in this film, while Asif Ali turns out a career-defining performance as a man venting his insecurities on his girlfriend. Together they weave a story of optimism snatched from the jaws of tragedy.
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