Actors: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Priya Anand
With a perpetually dark frame oozing eeriness backed by mythical overtones, the buzzword ‘dybbuk’ and tales from the past, complete with antiques and other unfamiliar objects that partake in inducing fear, Ezra is out to spook the wits out of you, and it tries its best to do that.
Ranjan Mathew (Prithviraj) and Priya (Priya Anand), the newly-weds, are moving from Mumbai to Fort Kochi. Ranjan Mathew works in a high-profile company and spearheads the new project of nuclear waste management. Getting settled in the new environment starts off jittery with the couple starting to take note of the strange occurrences around them, and Ranjan is propelled into action to trail the cause of it all, along with a relative of his, Father Samuel (Vijayaraghavan).
Fear, more often than not, is induced by the unfamiliar. In Ezra, it’s an antique Jewish box that is angled in that direction.
Upon Father Samuel’s insistence, when Ranjan meets Jewish priests Rabbi David Benyamin (Babu Antony) and his son Rabbi Markes (Sujith Shanker), things unravel faster.
It takes one back to 1941, to the story of Abraham Ezra (Sudev Nair), a Jewish boy, and Rosy (Ann Sheetal) that has some serious bearing on the aura of sinister that is hovering over the couple. There is less of the ‘peek-a-boo and then bursting upon you’ gameplay customarily carried off by evil spirits on celluloid, and more of a structured plot. However, the intent of the spirit seems rather limited, and while the twists are welcome, they seem a bit inspired. Director JayK couldn’t seem to have shaken off the effect of Manichithrathazhu, although there could be no serious analogy drawn between the psychological thriller and Ezra.
‘How it all ends’ becomes a letdown with a done-to-death climax in the genre of mainstream horror. There’s no heeding the golden rule of ‘leave certain things to imagination’. What could work in the movie’s favour are the Jewish rhetoric and the enigma of ‘dybbuk’. (Spoilers ahead: A spirit that reschedules its activities keeping in mind the possibilities of radioactive elements is a bit too far fetched, isn’t it?)
Prithviraj and team have done a good job at the acting front, however this isn’t a film that showcases much versatility.
A pleasant song courtesy Rahul Raj lingers in the mind. If Ezra could have been more inventive and stayed off the beaten track, maybe one would have stood a chance at getting ‘dybbuk’ed.