Ek Thi Dayaan
The latest horror film by Emran Hashmi has hit the box office. Ek Thi Daayan is co written and co produced by Vishal Bhardwaj. After his directorial debut with Makdee almost eleven years ago, expectations ran high. And he has not failed. Sharply different from Makdee yet belonging to the same horror genre, Ek Thi Daayan explores the ideas of evil supernatural powers and witchcraft in modern urban India.
The film revolves round Emran Hashmi (Bobo) who is a magician. He is moderately successful in his career, is happily in love with his wife played by the luscious Huma Qureshi and the couple are considering adoption. But Bobo has a dark past. In his childhood he was fascinated by witches and the power of evil often wishing that hell was there below his buildings and all offending adults were sent there. His father and sister die in mysterious circumstances and Bobo continues to be haunted by the memories of his dead sister. At this time, a suspicious Kalki Koechlin enters his life and there begins the hunt for the Daayan. The film ends with a climactic showdown between supernatural powers of good and evil with a predictable outcome.
Critics have praised Ek Thi Daayan for presenting a novel concept in an expert way. The first half of the film builds up the intrigue and the chill factor nicely. Elements of psychological drama, paranormal twists and the classic horror movie have been nicely integrated in the film. But the climax does not match the buildup. Critics like Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV commented that horror and surprise are dealt with in the first half while the second half becomes predictable. However, she says, "The riveting parts of Ek Thi Daayan are far outnumbered by the limp moments. Yet it is worth a watch owing to the idiosyncratic treatment of a done-to-death genre."Director Kannain Iyer has dealt with the subject of witchcraft beautifully. The childhood of Bobo as a young boy gradually becomes more and more obsessed with the dark side is depicted brilliantly. Konkona SenSharma plays the role of the babysitter who ultimately claims the life of the father and sister of Bobo. She has given a flawless performance. The contained performance of Emran Hashmi, the excellent portrayal of a young Bobo by Vishesh Tiwari and the suspicious and mysterious Kalki have all helped to create an excellent film.