In case you need a tip or two on product placement strategies, Ek Thi Daayan is the movie for you. Look closely in one scene as a Maaza tetra-pack shares screen space with Emraan Hashmi and the actor who plays his hypnotist (who sadly remains anonymous because I can’t locate his name anywhere). Marvel at how Kapoor lit up the Apple logo on the iPhone so it could shine through and outshine Emraan and his Dayaans more than once! You’re so convinced of the marketing cunning of producer Ekta Kapoor (we all know she controls everything) that you wonder if her poor director Kannan Iyer included the lyricist’s book from the movie Gulzaar during a song sequence as a tribute or if it was another. of the impressive Kapoor. marketing tricks.
In fact, these tricks will impress you more than the set of magic tricks that the magician Bobo, Emraan’s character, performs in his acts (“Bobo” seriously? And should we take a guy with this stage name seriously? ? Really!). Yes, although you need a tip or two on how to create fear through film, then Ek Thi Daayan is too conventional, convenient, crude, and cliché to teach you anything: Kapoor’s unconventional marketing (which includes airing a miniseries, starring a variety of ‘bahus’ soap operas, titled Ek Thhi Naayka on the Life OK channel) may have misled you, but read this review further and you can be sure, both of the ineffectiveness of the film and of spending your expensive money (even more expensive with inflation) in these daayans.
In case you are reading this, let me tell you that you are one small step closer to saving yourself. If you’re already thinking “Okay, I won’t watch this! But tell me what I should watch instead,” I suggest you order a DVD of Roman Polanski’s ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, a 1968 masterpiece starring Mia Farrow that actually it is the spinal column. -Relaxed. Ek Thi Daayan is creepy at best, a very crude and reductive alternative to Rosemary’s baby. Both films involve babies (okay, Ek Thi Daayan has slightly older kids) and demonic cults (the difference is that Rosemary’s Baby already shows the cult’s activities once beforehand, while Daayan is reserved only for the climax) but the Essential difference is that Roman Polanski is capable of creating terrifying paranoia, while Kannan Iyer can only do the weak ‘Boo!’
The plot in Ek Thi Daayan involves the famous wizard with Bobo’s haunted past’s fear of women with long braids or ‘chotis’ and suspicious appearance and behavior … well, that was too simple a way to put it: here’s what What Happens: Bobo keeps having these visions of his truly gruesome past involving his sister while performing on stage; this results in a couple of near-fatal mishaps during their onstage performances. His beloved Tamara (played by Huma Qureshi, whose previous performance in ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ was critically acclaimed) is reluctant to marry him because Bobo is basically a little weird; Bobo consults his hypnotist Dr. Palit to calm his fears, and that’s when the movie takes us into a mega-flashback scene that stretches into interval. We learn that even as a child he was a freak who dressed in shirts and read books on witchcraft and wizardry. We also learn how a mysterious lady Diana played by Konkona Sen entered her family’s life, became Bobo’s stepmother, and then ruined their lives; You laugh a bit when Bobo’s senile grandfather (the common character who inexplicably heralds catastrophe in horror movies) suddenly starts muttering names like he’s some kind of clairvoyant. After the interval, we return to the present when Bobo tries to get rid of his past by marrying Tamara; here comes one of the worst and most unnecessary scenes in Bollywood film history, a dance sequence and wedding song in which everyone looks at the camera. while shaking a leg. Once that unfortunate scene happens, our film’s third female lead, the talented Kalki Koechlin (who was great in Dibakar Banerjee’s ‘Shanghai’) walks in as Lisa Dutt, a musician who is a huge Bobo fan; our wizard suspects it is Daayan after remembering his grandfather’s prophecy. The rest of the movie involves the question ‘Is it her or isn’t it her?’ And in the end … I won’t tell you what happens, but do yourself a favor: skip the movie, watch the trailer, but with this in mind, what you see is a subterfuge and you can get your answer on who the Daayan is. and who is not.
Half of the dialogue in the film is ridiculous, especially when you hear Bobo yell ‘Choti Kaat Doonga! (I’ll cut your braids!) Most seriously. Vishal Bharadwaj could make the witch movie ‘Makdee’ a decent movie, but here he is unable to write compelling dialogue (consider the scene where Tamara berates Bobo for keeping quiet about his past and Bobo reconciles by saying ‘I want to start life ‘again. Let’s get married’ followed by the hideous dance sequence. Totally unconvincing) it’s not about tying up loose ends or even adding some freshness to the story itself. He may apologize saying that half of the movie should be viewed from a child’s perspective (hence predictability), but come on, he’s an adult writing the script, so can’t he at least break the conventions of the movie? Indian horror cinema?
You only have decent performances left that can prevent you from getting out of the movie. Konkona is the only one worth mentioning in this review; his unconventional sensuality is even more appealing when his pupils are dilated (falling in love with a Daayan, my lord?) and he really makes us sit back and enjoy his character / creature even when he has given hideous lines like ‘saat samundar paar’ to speak in the second half. The rest is fine, but Emraan is too aware that he’s in a horror movie and always has to look scared (just like Daniel Radcliffe in ‘Woman in Black’).
Bottom line (and I’m borrowing generously from dialogue in the movie but with some tweaks): Ek Thi Daayan’s script snores, his horror farts, and he’s miles away (actually, light years away) of being the tiger of Indian horror. films.