The festival Jallikattu, which is a hot topic in Tamil Nadu, has not been an integral part when it comes to Tamil cinema. According to a Tamil filmmaker K Hariharan. "Jallikattu has never occupied the central plot in a film's subject. It was always there to symbolise something, a village scene, the macho-ness of the hero, etc."
He also added, It was too risky, and the actors would need a dupe to get the shot done, and that made it difficult."
The then Tamil superstar and former AIADMK leader MG Ramachandran was the first actor to depict Jallikattu on the silver screen. We are talking about the movie Thaikkupin Tharam, released in 1956; the climax shows MGR playing Jallikattu to show his macho-ness to his uncle, and win his love interest.
A few films have influenced Tamil Nadu to embrace Jallikattu
1) Thaikkupin Tharam
The film starring MG. Ramachandran in the lead role and the story was a simple rural tale of love and valour. One of the box office hits of the year 1956 and ran 100 days in major cities.
2) Muratta Kalai
In the 1980s, the next big star of Kollywood was, Rajinikanth, too had a significant role in promoting Jallikattu in Tamil films. One of his most famous movies is Muratta Kalai. Have a look at the famous scene from the film.
3) Cheran Pandiyan
Actor-turned-politician Sarathkumar too brought this traditional sport in films. His hit film Cheran Pandiyan also had a Jallikattu scene, which received a lot of appreciation from the Tamil audience.
In this movie Kamal Haasan was seen showing off his macho-ness as a hero. Check out the video clip here.
The movie was under the radar because of its Jallikattu' (bull fight) scene, following the objection of Animal Welfare Board of India. The Censor Board suggested deletion of the scene following an objection due to alleged cruelty to animals in the sport. The movie was released on December 14, 2007 after cutting the scene.