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EK THI DAAYAN Movie Review: ETD keeps up to the 'chill' factor

 Ek Thi Daayan
Director :  Kannan Iyer
Music :  Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyrics :  Gulzar
Starring :  Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen Sharma, Kalki Kochlein and Huma Qureshi

April 19, 2013 12:13:08 PM IST
By Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial
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If you dabble in the spirit world, you are inviting trouble. Knowingly or unknowingly you are calling on evil spirits who are awaiting that invitation.

In EK THI DAAYAN, Kannan Iyer's directorial venture, the 'fictional facts' are well-presented. To understand that, you have to look beyond the less impactful first half wherein, Bobo the magician goes into regressive therapy to get the secrets out from his past.

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I say less impactful because of the presentation of the past which is through a young Bobo. Not his fault; the child artiste I guess would have been shielded from the fact of what he is portraying. Hence there is no punch in the delivery of his part which actually forms the basis of the script.

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Bobo (Emraan Hashmi) has been fascinated by the spirit world from his childhood. He devours a book on shaitaan and daayan very early and is intrigued by the presentation therein. His curiosity pulls him even deeper into this mystery which accounts for the death of his 6-year-old sister and dad, when he was 11 years old. But thanks to his quick thinking and early learning of the craft (and the very fact that the daayan was lenient on him because ''he belonged to them''), he is able to cut off her 'choti' (because that's where her strength lies, we are told) and eliminate her. But not before daayan promises to come back for him.

As an adult, Bobo is now having a difficult time. A world famous magician, his famous rope trick has now gone wrong three times in a row, resulting in burns for his partner. Tamara (Huma Qureshi) his girlfriend is worried for him. Her suggestion to him is to sell off his old house, which Bobo keeps visiting. Unless he lets go off his past, he will not be able to start afresh, is Tamara's sound advice to him. But Bobo is not willing to sell off his house.

The entire first half, after a good 15 minutes is a flashback to Bobo's past. The second half sees Bobo on the lookout for daayan. He knows she is back for him. But how does he nail her? Every four years on February 29, a child is sacrificed so that daayan gets her batteries recharged. His sister was sacrificed then. Now, it seems to be the turn of a young boy that Bobo and Tamara want to adopt. This is the leap year and February 29 is the day when things go out of control. Bobo has to act fast and think even harder.

view EK THI DAAYAN stills
view EK THI DAAYAN stills

The suspense is palpable and so are the 'chill scenes' that have most screaming out of their seats. More impactful is the climax that is well constructed right from the very beginning.

This is a very sedate Emraan we see. Iyer manages to throw in a lip-lock too for his many fans. Huma Qureshi is easy on the eyes, while Konkona Sen Sharma and Kalki Koechlin add spice to the proceedings.

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The downslide is the doctor who helps Bobo go into his past. His hypnotic session is laughable. Ditto a few scenes where a young Bobo tinkers around with the 'other world'. His dad played by the very talented Pawan Malhotra is a comic character akin to Clark Kent. But unlike Clark Kent, he does not get a chance to turn into Superman in times of crisis. His characterization too borders on insanity.

Another scene which is a bummer comes towards the end when the cops give a ride to Lisa Dutt (Kalki) to her home. They behave like students in their first year of college.

But given these loopholes, for its genre, ETD keeps up to the 'chill' factor. And the upside is that apart from being a horror flick, it has a well thought out suspense plot.

 Rating : 
3/ 5 stars
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