Starring Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen, Huma Qureshi, Kalki Koechlin, Pawan Malhotra
The most irritating part of watching a noon show of a horror film on a weekday is the giggly teenager gang sitting right behind you with girls shrieking I believe not due to the film but largely due to their boyfriends suddenly touching them. One of the tards had seen the movie and was giving constant spoilers till he was asked to shut up, politely.
Ok no more ranting about the uncivil movie watching habits of Indians.
Lets get down to Ek Thi Daayan. I am not a brave heart, I am quite a "Fattu" when it comes to real horror. Well made horror films have haunted me for days after I have watched them. But the Keeda to watch horror is very much there. So I was ready to get the thrills and chills.
ETD revolves around Bobo The Baffler (Hashmi) who is a celebrated Illusionist and Magician and his belief in Daayans. He has had a traumatic childhood where a Daayan had ruined his life by killing his father and little sister. Now 25 years later he believes she is back to take him to the Shaitan. Who is this Daayan, is she just a figment of his imagination and will he find closure is the story.
The film deals with innermost fears specially those rooted in us at a young impressionable age. As kids it takes one scary tale to keep the lights on while we sleep for years, the lovely Bargad ka ped looks sinister and you look under the bed to see if anything lurks there.
The story unfolds interestingly and keeps you glued, there are moments of genuine spook and chills running down your spine. The camera travels to the scary dark corners and the characters make you hold on to your armrest. You are taken on a journey where you forget your logic and start believing that Daayans live in urban buildings and travel in a lift to hell filled with sinister evil.
That I am afraid is the first half. Post interval the film suddenly changes into something else. The controlled direction, the atmospheric pace, the convincing scenario and good acting all goes downwards, leaving a giggle inducing tale which totally becomes cringe worthy by the time it all ends.
With a maniacal Bobo screaming "Teri Choti kaat doonga" there is no horror of the real kind left, it all becomes way too predictable, over the top and "Aahat" like. The songs and dances, not required. Apart from Kaali Kaali Ankhon main. As a music album, it is a great listen, with my favorite being Yaaram. Gulzar and VB deliver, yet again.
On the acting front, Hashmi has given a constrained performance, Huma is good as his girlfriend/wife and has a lovely screen presence, curves et al. Kalki... aah, wasted mostly, though she puts in real effort and is pleasing on the eye. Konkona Sen is Brilliant, as usual. The scene stealer for me is the kid who plays young Bobo, Vishesh Tiwari. Excellent acting for such a young age.
A film which is definitely worth a single watch, but be ready to be disappointed in the almost WTF end.