The Priest Review: A gripping mystery thriller!
‘The Priest’ opens with the scene of a woman soaked in blood being rushed to the hospital. From there, the scene cuts to an orphanage where we get to see a girl with strange behavioural pattern. Mammootty’s character Father Benedict then comes into the picture. Along with the police team, he tries to unearth a set of mysterious suicides within a family. As their investigation closes in, he discovers another crime, which brings all these people together.
Debutant director Jofin T Chacko has done a good job in getting the mood right for a mystery thriller. The first half moves briskly and lands on a killer interval punch. Mammootty’s towering screen presence and Rahul Raj’s thrilling background score makes it one of the most memorable scenes in the film. The stage is now set for a gripping second half. From there, the narrative follows the usual tropes of a Malayalam mystery thriller film.
Father Benedict is a cake-walk role for Mammootty, who effortlessly pulls it off. His body language and mannerisms hardly give away anything as there is always a mystery around him. ‘Kaithi’ fame Baby Monica has a very prominent role to play in the film. She portrays a wide range of emotions in a role, which is also physically taxing. Despite that, the child actress has delivered a commendable performance. Nikhila Vimal plays another major character in the film. While she is all graceful and elegant in the first half, the second half has her mostly terrified and she does a good job. Manju Warrier appears in an extended cameo role. There is a particular scene where she is pitted against Mammootty, and for that alone, the character demanded an actress of her stature. Saniya Iyappan, Venkatesh and Ramesh Pisharody also make their presence felt with good performances.
‘The Priest’ is a technically sound film that has some brilliant work by composer Rahul Raj. His background score helps a great deal in setting the mood right and enhancing the jump scares. Akhil George’s cinematography where most of the scenes are shot in low light is also worth a mention.
Overall, ‘The Priest’ is a gripping thriller that that keeps you hooked for most part of its running time. Watch it in a theatre with good visual and sound quality.