Ee. Ma. Yau wins the FCCI–Best Indian Film of 2018 Citation Award

Ee Ma Yau

Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Malayalam film ‘Ee Ma Yau’ has been awarded the prestigious FCCI Best Indian Film of 2018 Citation Award*.


Previous major awards:

Kerala State Film Awards
Best Direction
Best Sound Design

International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK)
NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film
Audience Award

International Film Festival of India (IFFI)
Silver Peacock /Best Director
Best Actor


Starring: Chemban Vinod Jose, Vinayakan, Dileesh Pothan
Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery
Genre: Satire, dark humour
Certification: U
Language: Malayalam
Duration: 2 hours


Excerpts & links to the top reviews of Ee Ma Yau

“The segues from tragedy to comedy to drama to surrealism are marvellously calibrated. Yes, surrealism. The closing portions are a sigh against the futility of the things we do while we are alive. Because at the end, everyone’s equal — the person who goes into the grave, and the person who digs the grave…the skilled mason who built an altar with a single piece of wood, and the unskilled gravedigger who shovels out sand and makes a hole; the man buried with church rites, and the man who isn’t; the body that is shielded from the rain, and the body that’s abandoned in a downpour; the bird that meant little more than a meal, and the dog that was a faithful companion… In Lijo’s eyes, life doesn’t deserve the soundtrack that death does.”

Rating: 4 stars | Full review

Baradwaj Rangan, Film Companion
Baradwaj Rangan


“Tries to uncover the contradictions in the cosmos. Ee Ma Yau is an existential comedy and at its very centre is God. Pellissery’s God, though, isn’t all-good and all-powerful; He is, as a matter of fact, an aggregation of our myths, our fears and our fantasies. He maybe endowed with matchless imagination but He also possesses some of our biggest frailties… To be living in a period when Lijo Jose Pellissery and Dileesh Pothan are making films shoulder to shoulder is not too different from living in an era when Faulkner and Hemingway released their novels within months of each other. It is a case of two artists both trying to seize a moment in history and embody it in their separate ways; working with the same passion for complex themes and the same desire to stretch the vocabulary of the medium.”

Rating: stars | Full review

Sreehari Nair, Rediff
Sreehari Nair
“One of Pellissery’s signatures is a fascination with malice, once gendered in South Indian cinema in the form of the villi, a scheming woman who seeks power. His is a specific fascination with the masculine talent for such malice.  This character is called Veshakkol in Amen, is a relative of Aappani’s in Angamaly Diaries, and flowers into multiple forms in this film. Another such signature is a reliance on choric commentary—the toddy-tapper in Amen, Pepe’s voice-over in Angamaly Diaries, and the men playing cards in this film. He returns to one other element from Amen—a strident anti-clericalism that reveals priests to be so lost in veniality that they cannot play pastor any more.”

| Full review

Arul Mani, Open Dosa
Arul Mani


“Highlights the fact that for creating an immersive cinematic experience, one doesn’t need the best of film technology that big film studios can buy. All it takes, to put it like Alfred Hitchcock, is “script, script, script”… Coming from a family with a strong theatre background, Lijo understands the importance of blocking a scene meaningfully. He applies the techniques of stage blocking as the movements of every character in his films are triggered by cues of other characters.”

Rating: 5 stars | Full review

Manoj Kumar R, Indian Express
Manoj Kumar R
“With a gripping narrative style, Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Ee Ma Yau is a brilliantly portrayed film on death that reveals a range of symbolic implications, with a touch of humour and an almost obsessive concern with human mortality. The death of the old man Vavachan mestri, his son Eeshi’s promise to his father to have a grand funeral and the subsequent dramas are a reflection of our dreams and disenchantments, our hopes and disillusionments”
Parthajit Baruah
Parthajit Baruah


“Superbly orchestrated rumination on life and death in a coastal Kerala village, where the follies and foibles of mankind, the workings of fate and the manifestations of grief are portrayed in a manner that is both culturally specific and universally resonant”
Saibal Chatterjee
Saibal Chatterjee
“For all Malayalis who worship works of the likes of Kubrick, Tarantino, Scorsese and Anurag Kashyap, it is high time to add Lijo’s name to their list. One can easily part Malayalam industry and its history as before and after Ee Ma Yau, soon to be crowned as a touchstone for all… Without a shadow of doubt, this has to be one of the finest dark movies that Malayalam cinema has ever seen.”

Rating: 4.5 stars | Full review

Gokul MG, Deccan Chronicle
Gokul MG


“By finding laughter in morbid situations and social commentary in the unlikeliest of places, in the tradition of other fine funeral films, Pellissery fashions Ee Ma Yau into a keenly observant, fabulously funny insight into the politics, economics and theatrics around death.”

Rating: 4 stars | Full review

Anna MM Vettikcad, First Post
Anna MM Vettikcad
“With its ensemble cast, energetic storytelling, fluid camera work and tongue-in-cheek look at religion, society and relationships, Ee Ma Yau creates a moody yet satirical portrait of life.”
Utpal Borpujari
Utpal Borpujari


“Underlines Lijo Jose Pellissery’s almost surreal fascination with death and its impact on human lives. The film begins with a shot of two men, metaphorically Satan and God playing cards, nonchalantly awaiting news of any death. The backdrop is rife with dark clouds and windy storms, signaling impending gloom.”

| Full review

Neelima Menon, News Minute
Neelima Menon
“Deserves kudos for its sincerity in enacting a funeral drama that looks at sub-altern realities in a rural Keralite backdrop with the sea and Christianity forming layers of cinematic significance.”
Manoj Barpujari
Manoj Barpujari


“One of Lijo Jose Pellissery’s strongest qualities is that he never makes the same film twice. Each film of his is different from the one before it. He may go back to similar settings, but when it comes to the subject matter, visual style and characters, Pellissery isn’t interested in recycling old ideas.”

Rating: 4.5 stars | Full review

Sajin Shrijith, Cinema Express
Sajin Shrijith
“Shaiju Khalid’s cinematographic tour de force, his camera never trying to over-punctuate or underplay the terrain or tempo. Instead of loud, attention-getting tactics, he orchestrates his own visual melody and you simply sink into that… Pellissery achieves a flawless merger of nearly all cinematic elements, making it an accomplished piece of art. And from its synchronised brilliance he derives that signature Latino flavour, a unique feature that marks his craft.”

| Full review

Navamy Sudhish, The Hindu
Navamy Sudhish


“Exposes the inhuman practices of the church and the helplessness of the downtrodden in a so-called civilized society.”
Madhu Eravankara
Madhu Eravankara
“There is a visual crankiness that Lijo lends to death in ‘Ee Ma Yau’ that finds expression in uniquely bizarre ways… ‘Ee Ma Yau’ laughs at death on its face.”

| Full review

Velu Nair, Veeyen
Velu Nair


“When we deal with a wave, in cinema, we deal with its patterns, quirks, techniques and themes that repeat over and over with time, films and filmmakers. The films may be vastly dissimilar in several aspects but may stand the test of time as companion pieces, with one springing from the other or one leading up to the next. It could be the same director’s work – the auteur – or films of different directors who appear to have graduated from the same school… Making clear the kind of iron-handed control the church has over the parish. This church vs people conflict once again takes centre stage… The Syrian Christian church’s control in Amen is a parallel to the Latin Catholic church’s control in Ee Ma Yau, the latter further divided along caste lines, the coastal parish mainly consisting of fishermen.”

| Full review

Aditya Shrikrishna, The New Indian Express
Aditya Shrikrishna
“Upsets the postcards of a seaside village by unleashing the long take and emotionally charged non-stars, simulating actual lighting, and situating the primary focus on have-nots desiring the glory of wants; to serve the purpose of the neorealist church. “Lijo Jose Pellissery’s morbid satire is the extension of an experimental/versatile body of work that pioneered and continues to represent the so-termed new-gen cinema of Malayalam.”


*Winners of the FCCI Award for Best Indian Film, in previous years – Court (2016), Thithi (2017), and Village Rockstars (2018).



Ee Ma Yau on IMDB

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