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Movie Review: Ek Thi Daayan (Hindi) 169

For an audience that has gotten used to spooky flicks that range from scary to sorcery, flying ghosts, witches, sudden shock element, etc., it is incredibly tough to come up with something new. This is especially true of Bollywood that has seen an overdose of Ram Gopal Verma flicks. Amidst all the gloom comes a refreshing ‘Ek Thi Daayan’ with a gripping story, although the climax goes tad haywire.

Magician Bobo (Emraan Hashmi) is a successful magician who suddenly is being troubled by strange visions. When hypnotized, it is revealed that he holds a dark secret to how his sister and father died and the story being the spooky elevator in the building where he lived as a child. The more he seems to dig into the past to unearth its antecedents, the deeper he gets into the mystic world. Not any more should be revealed about the story because it is a worthy suspense.

The first thing I did after watching ‘Ek Thi Daayan’ was to Google out the difference between a ‘Chudail’ and a ‘Daayan’. As it turns out from a random web page, a ‘Chudail’ is an ugly demon that emerges when a woman dies during childbirth and lives in remote areas. A ‘Daayan’ is a beautiful enchantress that has become one on account of harassment during her lifetime and therefore attacks men and usually lives in urban areas. Whoa, who could ever guess that!!

Some of its songs are impressive. The best of those is ‘Yaaram’ that’s performed at the housewarming hosted by Lisa, followed by the eerie ‘Lautungi Main’ but Punjabi flavored ‘Totey Ud Gaye’ sounds lame. A few more impressive numbers could have carried ‘Ek Thi Daayan’ even further.

The choice of locations is impressive. The opening scenes are filmed at Gurgaon’s “Kingdom of Dreams” which stages an extravaganza of sound and light with impressive transitions, a must see for those visiting the region. The locations for the eerie home and the lift are neat too. The hypnotic background in the psychiatrist’s office is an interesting piece of d├ęcor and serves as a backdrop to some key scenes.

Talking about acting performances, Emraan Hashmi does what is best at. It’s amazing that despite such type-cast roles and similar performance in all films, his movies still work well at the Box Office. But, Konkona is the better actor in this film. Kalki and Huma Qureishi also do reasonably well.

The Verdict: Unfortunately, not much of the story can be discussed in a review without revealing a bit of the suspense. So, if you want to know what it is, it is better to catch it while it is still in the cinema halls. This is surely not a movie that you could wait till it comes on TV. Although one shouldn’t watch it with exalted hopes, since it fizzles out towards the end, you wouldn’t regret watching it at all.

Rating 6/10: New kind of thriller with a couple of nice songs
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