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EK THI DAAYAN - One of the better super natural thrillers which could have been great with a different culmination. (Review by Bobby Sing)
19 Apr, 2013 | Movie Reviews / 2013 Releases

Ek Thi Daayan

When two diverse personalities such as Ekta Kapoor and Vishal Bhardwaj (along with Gulzar) join hands together to produce a horror film based on ‘Witchcraft’, then its got to be something out of the ordinary and special. Thankfully EK THI DAAYAN largely passes this expectations test as far as the novelty factor is concerned. Yet it falls short of being a thoroughly enjoyable entertainer due to an uninspiring finale, ruining the fine build up & suspense element continuing in its second half.
Beginning on a shaky note, the film soon starts delivering some well directed, stunning sequences once the flashback is there with two innocent kids portraying their characters superbly. The child actors particularly the boy, Vishesh Tiwari, keep you hooked on to the screen till the intermission and one feels like witnessing a fairly engaging tale with something new to offer, talking about witches & magic instead of ugly ghosts and cruel betrayals. Post interval the grown-ups take up from the innocent performers like a relay race and continue coming up with some fresh interesting insertions like Kalki. But sadly as it all starts heading towards the end, ETD fails to raise the bar further and finishes on the same familiar notes without making any kind of shocking impact on the viewer as seen in its first half.
In straight words, ETD is one of those films which both starts and ends on a sour note but surely has got the content which is much ahead then all those clichéd Vikram Bhatt horror films, repeatedly made for a certain section of viewers, quite regularly. In fact this is not a horror film in the typical sense but a fine script based on a ‘Supernatural Theme’ related with witches coming back after decades in a leap year to strengthen their individual powers. Therefore as its first merit, you have a new subject here in an Indian mainstream film which can easily be rated as one of the most original ones tried rarely in Hindi cinema till date. Incidentally one might recall MAKDEE, which was again a Vishal Bhardwaj (Children) film released in 2002 revolving around the myth spread among the villagers about a scary mansion. But since Vishal is the producer here in ETD too, so it clearly suggests that the talented soul does have a personal liking towards this unusual subject of witches for sure.
The second highlight of the film remains its performances wherein the 3 ladies score the most after the child actors. Konkona Sen Sharma excels in the first half and Huma Qureshi does the same in the second. Kalki Koechlin plays her short role well post interval and Emraan Hashmi is just fine playing the common male related to all the three. Though he doesn’t get much scope to show his skills here, but his choice of scripts strongly indicates that he has now rightly understood the importance of new subjects very well. Supporting him, Rajatava Dutta as the doctor impresses and Pavan Malhotra once again showcases his underrated talent playing the unaware father.
Music in a Vishal-Gulzar film has to live up to its reputation and that’s exactly what can be said about the songs of ETD too. Though as usual the tracks are all forcibly inserted into the narration, still one enjoys watching “Kaali Kaali” (for the romance) and “Totey Ud Gaye” (for the dance) providing the casual relief moments. However “Yaaram”, despite being good, hinders the pace of the movie, which could have been avoided. The DOP tries to maintain the mood of the film throughout, mixing the dark frames with the lighted ones. But in the process makes it mostly dark which becomes annoying at times. Background score deserves a special mention here for its innovative tones but the same words cannot be used for its special effects department, sadly.
Summing up, ETD mainly impresses due to its inventive & original subject, adapted by the debutant director Kannan Iyer, who confidently proves that he has got the talent to deliver a perfect entertainer soon. The film steps on to the next level with its enjoyable performances & screenplay but could have been a real killer with a different culmination providing the missing shock. Its final moments did remind me of a scary masterpiece ROSEMAY’S BABY directed by Roman Polanski in the late sixties. And with a more imaginative climax it surely could have become an attempt to be the ROSEMARY’s BABY of Indian Cinema, arguably.
Rating : 3 / 5

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19 Apr 2013 / Comment ( 2 )
raj vardhan

Hello Sir!

I saw this movie yesterday and I found it interesting only coz of its novel concept and konkona sen sharma's fabulous act. Konkona was brilliant in the movie.

The first half,as everyone is saying is quite good and scary. I found the second part also interesting till the scene where doctor calls emraan to be alert. But after that the film goes down. The suspense part was very predictable.

I didn't find huma qureshi interesting at all.Her performance was very routine especially in the final act where her expressions were like the one we used to see in zee horror show or aahat. It was not at all good or spine chilling.
Kalki didn't have anything to do in the movie. Any actress could have done this part. She was totally wasted.
Emraan was strictly ok. The child actors from the first half were superb.

The story was good and new but absolutely predictable in the second half especially the last 40 minutes.The last 40 minutes were like watching Raaz 3 again with similar kind of progress where emraan goes to another world to save esha gupta and there he gets in fight with those ghosts. The special effects were not impressive at all especially when the producers are balaji and vishal bhardwaj.

All in all....a one time watch. It can be watched for a new kind of story and for konkona sen sharma's and the child actor's fantastic acts.

Bobby Sing

Hi Raj,
Thats perfectly right as the film gets its above average rating solely for its novel concept and first half which is nothing short of an interesting bold step ahead in Hindi Cinema without promoting Witch craft or any other such thing.

So Cheers for that!
HIS BLESSINGS

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