People thought I was crazy when I told them I was going to see the latest horror flick in town, Ek Thi Daayan! I don’t blame them, as the title and the trailors seemed very cheesy! But I would like to believe, that I had the last laugh ;).
Ek Thi Daayan is a supernatural thriller with an extremely talented star cast-Emraan Hashmi, Huma Qureshi, Konkona Sen Sharma and Kalki Koechlin. Emraan Hashmi plays the role of a magician Bobo, who has lived a disturbed childhood filled with hallucinations of ghosts and the supernatural. As a kid, he finds a book in his house which talks about the characteristics and features of ghosts and witches and he imagines his step-mother, played by Konkona Sen Sharma to be one. He attributes the death of his kid sister and father to Konkona and her mystical powers and is obsessed with this and thinks about it day in and day out. The young Emraan Hashmi has been essayed brilliantly by the kid, Vishesh. Even as an adult, the horrors of the past continue to haunt him and he often finds himself visiting his old flat where he lived his childhood. Huma Qureshi plays his girlfriend who loves him but is perturbed with his weird behavior. She reckons that the best way for him to forget his past is to get him to sell the flat and she tries to strike a deal with a music teacher, played by Kalki Koechlin. However, Emraan believes that Kalki is a “daayan” who is his step-mom re-incarnate and refuses to sell her the flat. So, ultimately it’s a battle of the “daayans” and who wins is what forms the basis of Ekta Kapoor’s Ek Thi Daayan!
Well, the film is not without its faults. But I have to admit, it has its moments too. There are at least 4-5 instances which successfully manage to startle you, if not scare you. In fact, in the theatre I visited, there were a few people sitting behind me who were very scared and kept kicking my seat from the back :P. Also, some concepts have been portrayed well, like the time when Bobo gets agitated with a woman with a long plait because he believes that “ daayan ki shakthi uski choti me hain”. But the best part of the film is undoubtedly the flashback which shows a young Emraan and his relationships with his father, sister and step-mom. The second half gets a little predicatable, though not boring. But the greatest disappointment is the climax, which falls short for an otherwise well-made film.
All the actors have done justice to their roles, with a special mention again for little Vishesh. It would also be one of the best movies in the supernatural genre made in Bollywood in recent times. In fact, after seeing this, movies like Raaz (1 & 2) and Aatma seem really bad! I just wish the makers had tried to make it a little more intelligent in which case, this film would have definitely made it to the big league. Nevertheless, I go with 3 out of 5 stars and believe that it’s a good start for newcomer director, Kannan Iyer. Going by the public reactions to the film, I think we have a hit on our hands!