Ezra (2017) Malayalam Movie Review by Veeyen


The urban unease that is unleashed in ‘Ezra’ is one that lurks around dark corners, and as the couple frantically tries to tide over the terror that has taken over their lives, they realize that fear finally has a meaning. Eerie and unsettling by turns, ‘Ezra’ is a chilling feature that is deftly directed, splendidly acted and elegantly shot.


Ezra Review VeeyenWhat makes ‘Ezra’ decidedly dissimilar to the horror flicks in Malayalam is that the fear in it for once, is no silly business. An exorcism drama that dwells on a much recognizable theme and quite identifiable plot devices, Jay K’s ‘Ezra’ nonetheless emerges the most intensely shot horror film in Malayalam till date.

A newly promoted Ranjan (Prithviraj), along with his wife Priya (Priya Anand), moves to Kochi from Mumbai, on a fresh assignment. While Ranjan accustoms himself to the intricacies associated with his high security job, Priya busies herself redoing the villa that the couple has set up their love nest in. A striking dybbuk box at an antique shop catches her attention and back home she opens it, with devastating outcomes.

‘Ezra’ has very less of the spine shocker moments that make you jump out of your seats with your hearts thumping away to glory. Those sudden sound blows that startle you out of your wits – the crashes and the clangs – aren’t there either. Instead, it progressively builds up an edginess, continually supplementing it with an ambience of sheer disquiet.

What is perhaps more clever is that ‘Ezra’ so very cautiously drapes a Jewish culture garb over a highly identifiable story line, and makes it look almost unsullied. A rabbi is brought in as the exorcist and as things heat up in Hebrew, ‘Ezra’ gets deliciously creepy, all the while retaining those relatable plot twists and turns.

There are without doubt, a few sequences in ‘Ezra’ that make your hair stand on its end, probably less on account of the terror associated with it, and more due to the technical finesse on show. There are scenes galore in ‘Ezra’ that have hitherto been never endeavored in Malayalam cinema, and as such Jay K’s film does flaunt a landmark accomplishment.

‘Ezra’ also refuses to give in to the oft used compromise that most horror films bank on, and mercifully does not have a sudsy sub plot that involves the antics of a few jesters. Fear isn’t a funny thing here, and the gloom that pervades all over gently seeps into you, drawing you steadily into the midst of the quagmire.

However, the horror clichés do accumulate over time, along with a slightly drawn out flashback that just about makes through without many major scratches. Some of the conventionalities are religiously retained, and when Priya pulls out a puncture needle from what very suspiciously looks like a voodoo doll, you wonder if she has never watched a horror film in the first place.

Halfway through a song right at the beginning, Ranjan meets Priya for the first time ever and looks at her longingly as she walks away. That’s the Prithviraj I so much love – the actor who so very readily draws in the most complex of emotions into his eyes – and in ‘Ezra’ he’s delightfully good, and dabbles with a range of emotions that range across love, inquisitiveness, vulnerability and sheer fright. Priya Anand is a stunner, and ‘Ezra’ also has sturdy performances from Tovino Thomas, Sujith Shanker, Sudev Nair, Ann Sheetal and Vijayaraghavan, to name only a few.

The spookiness of ‘Ezra’ is all thanks to the uncanny, creepy camera and the man behind it, Sujith Vasudev, and the sinister musical score that Sushin Shyam has come up with. I should also not forget to mention that remarkable musical composition ‘Lailakame..’ by Rahul Raj that’s one of the best songs that I have lent my ears to in recent times.

The urban unease that is unleashed in ‘Ezra’ is one that lurks around dark corners, and as the couple frantically tries to tide over the terror that has taken over their lives, they realize that fear finally has a meaning. Eerie and unsettling by turns, ‘Ezra’ is a chilling feature that is deftly directed, splendidly acted and elegantly shot.


Verdict: Above Average


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