Movie Review: Ezra (Malayalam)

As a horror thriller, Jay K-directed Ezra traverses a predictable route, generously lifting plot points from cult classics like Manichitrathazhu and Rosemary's Baby. So you have someone with a history of mental illness who gets possessed by a vengeful spirit, a pregnant woman in the throes of delivering a baby that may be evil incarnate - tropes all done and dusted. But where the movie really scores is in its cultural subtext, exploring the dwindling Jewish community in Kerala (they are so less in number that at one point foreign tourists end up participating in a Minyan), and themes of cultural ignorance (a bored-at-home Hindu housewife ends up purchasing a Dybbuk box from an antique store for decorating her home, thus spelling disaster for the family) and resettlement (a mixed-race couple returning to their homeland from Mumbai to Kochi that has echoes in Theodor Herzl's vision for a Jewish state and the migration that followed). It's a refreshing spin on horror in what's otherwise a clichéd spookfest.