Ek Thi Daayan-Bright flashes peeking through the Cobweb! Movie Review
ORE AST REW
This Ekta Kapoor film is about supernatural happenings and is quite different from the normal run of the mill movie, but at the same time it is not a horror movie. The film seems to have considerable participation from Vishal Bharadwaj’s team too, which includes the story, screenplay and music. The combination has perhaps helped in making this a film with sufficient meat in it, unlike cheaply made B-grade horror films.
Plot: The central character enacted by Emran Hashmi is named Bobo, and he also happens to be a famous magician who suffers from hallucinations about a long-dead younger sister Misha played by the lesser known Sara Arjun. These series of bizarre happenings force him to seek the psychiatric advice of an expert called Dr Palit portrayed by Rajatabha Dutta. Under his hypnosis Bobo is taken back to the time he was 11. What follows is a heavy dose of supernatural happenings, which reveal that the kids used to stay in what used to be a haunted house, with their father. They were soon joined by a mysterious woman named Diana (portrayed by Konkona Sen), whom their father retained as their nurse and caretaker. The two kids, however, reading extensively from books of witchcraft in their haunted house are convinced Diana herself is a witch, and that her supernatural power lies in her plait. This knowledge comes handy when Diana in her true self as a witch sacrifices Misha and also kills their father who was trying to attack her after seeing what she had done. Bobo quickly cuts off Diana’s plait and destroys her. Diana vanishes with a cryptic message that she would return again for Bobo. This is, however, dismissed as just fantasy by Dr Palit, and he convinces Bobo to stop worrying.
Trying to live normally, and have a regular family, Bobo marries his girlfriend Tamara, done by Huma Qureshi, and even adopts a ten-year-old son Zubin (portrayed by a cute looking Bhavesh Balchandani). Bobo’s lurking scepticism is fuelled further when Kalki Koechlin, playing a character called Lisa Dutt, enters the scene and strikes up a friendship with them. It is then that Bobo gets convinced about the return of the Dayaan, and it gets more curious when Tamara falls off the balcony in Lara’s house warming party. What follows after this is a rapid series of surprises that sees Dr Palit killed and Zubin about to be sacrificed like Bobo’s own sister. Bobo prevails over all this after discovering that it was Tamara who was the Dayan, not Lisa.
A good weave of thrilling moments and supernatural happenings, but never getting down to the level of a cheap horror film, it is backed by competent acting and a mature screen play. The performances that stand out are those enacted by Konkona Sen and Rajatabha Dutta, and as the lead actor, Emraan Hashmi has carried a lot of weight himself to lend credence to a harassed magician’s role, struggling with supernatural happenings. For a film of this nature, the background music is more important than songs, but full credit is due to the musical genius of Vishal Bharadwaj, for the songs he has composed for the film, most notably the haunting melody of Yaram. Saurabh Goswami’s photography is quite in keeping with the spooky mood of the film though he could have interspersed the dark scenes with patches of brightness to remove the monotony.
Verdict: As for viewing, unless you are weak in the heart this is a pleasant diversion from the usual romance or action thriller, and would keep you gripped throughout, not only because of the difference in theme but also due to inherent technical qualities.