Ek Thi Daayan (2013) *HQ*

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Bobo (Emraan Hashmi) is a professional illusionist, who is haunted by the half-forgotten memories of his childhood and the death of his kid sister. As children, Bobo and Misha had seen their father (Pawan Malhotra) fall for the charms of Diana (Konkona Sen Sharma), who Bobo believed was a daayan (witch).

Now, years later, when Bobo is on the verge of marrying his sweetheart Tamara (Huma Qureshi), the dreams of his past threaten to cause further damage. To take care of the issue once and for all, Bobo seeks the help of a hypnotherapist to unlock the memories of his past, only to discover that the past is not dead and buried at all. Moreover, when he meets Lisa Dutt (Kalki Koechlin), Bobo starts thinking she is a ‘daayan’ too because of certain similarities to Diana. However, he has no way to prove it, before the situation turns lethal.

here is something out there that is inexplicable, that is beyond the realm of human comprehension that EK THI DAAYAN taps grippingly. First-time director Kannan Iyer steps forward to offer something radically different in this genre and for those who believe in daayans — even those who don’t — will take to the plot instantly because Kannan’s storytelling is lucid and graspable. The flashback portions in the first hour are noteworthy, with Emraan revisiting his childhood. At the same time, Kannan ensures that there’s a love story running parallel to the main story, besides integrating the mandatory songs in the narrative, thus steering clear of being labeled ‘dark and dry’ in the process.

Thankfully, EK THI DAAYAN is not the standard horror fare and the storyteller does a volte face in the concluding reels. The suspense — when it unravels — is sure to hit you like a ton of bricks. However, the film tends to get a bit predictable at this point and the pacing too slows down soon after the interval, but the scare quotient and the twist towards the final stages more than compensate for the shortcomings.

Emraan Hashmi as Bobo does his part well, bringing that intense edginess to his performance that he is known for. Huma too does a decent job, but the lady needs to work on her weight-pronto! Kalki as the mysterious Lisa Dutt does not get much to do really. However, it is Konkona, who will take your breath away. As the woman suspected of being a witch, Konkona sends a shiver up your spine with her eerie smile and her glassy stare. The child artistes who play the younger Bobo and his kid sister are damn good and give a better performance than most child artistes usually do.

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