“Abraham Ezra’s spirit dislocated from his body in 1941 AD,” opens the trailer of Ezra. Eerie enough to get the adrenalin up and bubbling forth. Screeches and howls and well-spaced silences make the trailer intriguing enough. But director Jay K doesn’t want his audience to focus just on the eeriness. “There is a story in it; when I decided to make the film, I felt this was a story that had to be told,” he says over phone from Mumbai.
This is ad filmmaker Jay’s first foray into narrative feature films. “The story is based on a Jewish myth and I felt that the Jewish territory was not too frequently explored in cinema,” he adds. The story is set in Fort Kochi and the film has been shot mostly in Fort Kochi and partly in Mumbai. “We had a large Jewish population in Kochi and their religious practices and culture form part of our collective history,” Jay says. Even as the story struck him, Jay had to do his research, meeting people from the community in Kochi and a few in Mumbai. The film took him over two-and-a-half years to complete.
During the filming of Ezra , social media was abuzz with rumours of certain “supernatural goings on” on the sets. It was said that the crew witnessed unusual happenings. Jay, however, wishes not to elaborate.
Ezra has Prithviraj playing Ranjan Mathew and Tamil actor Priya Anand playing his wife, Priya Raghuram. Ranjan works in a shipping company and is transferred to Kochi from Mumbai. He settles in the city with his wife in a bungalow. A string of creepy events that unfurl forms the crux of Ezra . “I had Prithviraj in mind when I conceived Ranjan’s character. I discussed it with Prithviraj and he was more than willing to do the role. Since then, we have been on the same page,” Jay says.
The story is Jay’s, but he says the dialogues were co-written with a partner. Produced by Dr. A.V. Anopp and Mukesh R. Mehta, the film also stars Tovino Thomas, Vijayaraghavan, Prathap Pothen and Sudev Nair in prominent roles. Sujith Vaassudev has cranked the camera for the horror-thriller and editing is by Vivek Harshan. Music has been scored by Rahul Raj. The song ‘Lailakame’ , which was released on YouTube recently, claims to have crossed one million views and has already found a set of fans. The background score is by Sushin Shyam. The film’s trailer has also been receiving a good response.
“The intention is not to scare people out of their wits. It is just a thriller, which has a solid story, and it will be an entertainer. However, it is up to the people to decide whether they like it or not. I am not one to claim that the film is going to be never-seen-before kind of different,” Jay says.
This is Jay’s first experience working in Kerala and he says he has nothing to complain about. “Cinema is a collective effort and it all just fell in place. I would like to catch the first show in Kerala, but I don’t know.”
The film was expected to release in December.