Film Review of ‘Churuli’: Enter the Labyrinth of Lijo Jose Pellissery | Movie review

And enter this maze at your own risk!

After introducing ourselves to our primitive savage selves in jallikattu (2019), in his 2021 film, churulic, Lijo Jose Pellissery takes us on an open jeep safari to a jungle where it can thrive.

You can enter this temple of doom with footwear but not with their mask of morality. Even the most adamant of visitors will eventually be forced to open their covers and embrace their darkness.

That is what happened to two Kerala police officers Anthony (Chemban Vinod Jose) and Shajivan (Vinay Forrt), who dared to enter the Churuli forest in search of a wanted criminal, Mayiladuparambil Joy (Subin Shahir).

Lijo tells the story of his 2-hour brainteaser in the beginning itself through an anecdote about an upper-caste Brahmin who enters a forest in search of a miscreant, only to fall prey to the trickery of his enemy. Don’t thank Lijo just yet, as he didn’t take a single burden off our chests, but cleverly put an aching pain of knowledge on the viewers’ shoulders. For this malice, Lijo had an experienced accomplice in the form of S Hareesh’s screenplay. Hareesh has created an extraordinary thriller from the story of Vinoy Thomas. And the narration will keep you hooked on the screen.

As in any Lijo movie, the characters are raw and in churulic, they communicate their feelings — be it joy, pain, or anger — in foul language. And its cast, including new faces and veterans like Jaffer Idukki, Surjith, Lukman Lukku, Joju George and Soubin, put on a flawless performance. It is a wave of leeches that thrives under the moisture of the dead leaves of the churulic Forest. But unlike those in the outside world, these bandits live by an unwritten code that keeps them from being judgmental. Vinay’s PC Shajivan clings to his overarching virtue, far into the forest to be baptized by fire in his darkness.

Every frame from Ace cinematographer Madhu Neelakandan tells of these conflicts with certainty. He plays with lights, shadows and angles, mimicking the minds of his actors with exceptional force. Deepu Joseph’s cuts make it an intoxicating mix when consumed with the soundscape created by Renganaath Ravee and his team.

churulic will throw your world into an eternal spiral. Walk into Lijo’s churulic expose your values, and if that is a problem, at least be ready to embrace the darkness that is at the center of your light.

(The movie is now playing on Sony LIV)

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