Ezra, the latest Malayalam horror thriller has definitely become the talk of the town. From the less known director Jay K, starred by one of the most bold figures of film industry, Prithviraj and the most sexy Priya Anand has definitely produced a fair movie that is worth of money (considering that our audience is even happy with ‘something’ from a movie).
Even though the film deals with a haunted affair which is new to Malayalam film industry, the movie has failed to give full satisfaction for the audience. Many portions of the script lacks proper thread and is implemented ineffectively, evoking certain questions in the mind of viewers. After a strong beginning, some characters of the movie seems like losing importance.
Prithviraj, who has a better experience in the neo-noir category (with films like Seventh Day and Memories) has played the role effortlessly. If we really insist to criticise his acting, then we can smell some doubts over his acting during the exorcism scenes. Besides this, his acting is elegant and complimenting the horror theme. Actress Priya Anand has successfully depicted a sizzling ghost figure to prove that ghosts are still given the seductive zeal. Having said that, one also has to applaud her acting which raises our heart beats frequently.
The emerging sensation of Malayalam film industry, Tovino Thomas, plays a vibrant and bold role of a police officer, but considering an actor of his calibre, I am forced to say that he is given less emphasis. Veteran actor Vijayaraghavan also plays a less significant role of christian priest who is the mentor of the protagonist. Unfortunately, he too seems to be less fitting to the storyboard as the movie progresses.
Ezra talks about dybbuk, a malicious possessing spirit believed to be a dislocated soul of a dead person. The protagonist (Prithviraj) and his family is haunted by a sequence of paranormal activity when the shift their home to Fort Kochi from Mumbai. The first half establishes the social circle of the protagonist, his job, lifestyle etc. But the main element is horror itself. One have to say that the script has left some holes, while it was busy to focus more on the horror effect.
Being captured in Mumbai, Kochi and certain areas of Sri Lanka, Ezra scores high on its visual treat. After the first half, the film also steps on to the background of early Jewish era of the 1940’s. The set looks amazing with river, village, boats and people of the pre-independence era in a traditional Kerala Village. The story revealing the history of dybbuk is convincing with the heart breaking love affair of the Jewish Abraham Ezra and the traditional Christian girl.
Compositions like Lailakame, Thambiran and Irulu Neelum Raave has excellent lyrics and music to sum up the horror feel. While the former one is kind of happy song, setting the life tone of the protagonist and family, the latter two is excellently blending to the theme of the movie – horror. Undoubtedly, Ezra gratifies our wish for better songs.
Ezra is entirely a new story in Mollywood. But the reality is that, the thread arguably resembles Hollywood movies like The Exorcist (1973) and The Possession (2012). But considering that the majority of the Mollywood audience is not aware of the Hollywood threads, we can compromise on the plagiarism factor.
Summing up, Ezra is a new story, the characters are pretty good, cinematography is excellent and will keep us on the edge of the seats. But some catches like lack of strong script, losing the relevance of story / characters will drop shadows over the movie.