5.7/10
3,279
43 user 13 critic

Ek Thi Daayan (2013)

A popular illusionist is haunted by a Daayan witch.

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(dialogue), (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bobo
...
Diana
...
Lisa Dutt
...
Tamara
...
Prof Mathur
...
Dr. Ranjan Palit (as Rajatava Datta)
Vishesh Tiwari ...
Young Bobo (as Visshesh Tiwari)
...
Misha
Bhavesh Balchandani ...
Zubin
Pallavi Batra ...
Sangeeta
Shirina Sambyal ...
Anna
Deepak Dhadwal ...
Principal
Habib ...
Old Watchman
Kanupriya Gupta ...
Girl on Beach
Prem Parmar ...
Young Watchman
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Storyline

Bobo is a popular and talented illusionist, but he is haunted by his past. When disturbing hallucinations cause him to become distracted during his stage show, he seeks the help of a psychiatrist. Through hypnosis, he is able to recall suppressed memories of his childhood. In his youth, Bobo suspected the nanny who cared for him and his younger sister to be a Daayan -a demon who practices witchcraft and devil-worship. Now as an adult, Bobo is paranoid that the reincarnated witch is returning for him... Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

18 April 2013 (India)  »

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Trivia

Rani Mukerji was offered the role but rejected it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tamasha (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the better super natural thrillers which could have been great with a different culmination.
20 April 2013 | by See all my reviews

When two diverse personalities such as Ekta Kapoor and Vishal Bhardwaj (along with Gulzar) join hands together to produce a horror film based on 'Witchcraft', then its got to be something out of the ordinary and special. Thankfully EK THI DAAYAN largely passes this expectations test as far as the novelty factor is concerned. Yet it falls short of being a thoroughly enjoyable entertainer due to an uninspiring finale, ruining the fine build up & suspense element continuing in its second half.

Beginning on a shaky note, the film soon starts delivering some well directed, stunning sequences once the flashback is there with two innocent kids portraying their characters superbly. The child actors particularly the boy, Vishesh Tiwari, keep you hooked on to the screen till the intermission and one feels like witnessing a fairly engaging tale with something new to offer, talking about witches & magic instead of ugly ghosts and cruel betrayals. Post interval the grown-ups take up from the innocent performers like a relay race and continue coming up with some fresh interesting insertions like Kalki. But sadly as it all starts heading towards the end, ETD fails to raise the bar further and finishes on the same familiar notes without making any kind of shocking impact on the viewer as seen in its first half.

In straight words, ETD is one of those films which both starts and ends on a sour note but surely has got the content which is much ahead then all those clichéd Vikram Bhatt horror films, repeatedly made for a certain section of viewers, quite regularly. In fact this is not a horror film in the typical sense but a fine script based on a 'Supernatural Theme' related with witches coming back after decades in a leap year to strengthen their individual powers. Therefore as its first merit, you have a new subject here in an Indian mainstream film which can easily be rated as one of the most original ones tried rarely in Hindi cinema till date. Incidentally one might recall MAKDEE, which was again a Vishal Bhardwaj (Children) film released in 2002 revolving around the myth spread among the villagers about a scary mansion. But since Vishal is the producer here in ETD too, so it clearly suggests that the talented soul does have a personal liking towards this unusual subject of witches for sure.

The second highlight of the film remains its performances wherein the 3 ladies score the most after the child actors. Konkona Sen Sharma excels in the first half and Huma Qureshi does the same in the second. Kalki Koechlin plays her short role well post interval and Emraan Hashmi is just fine playing the common male related to all the three. Though he doesn't get much scope to show his skills here, but his choice of scripts strongly indicates that he has now rightly understood the importance of new subjects very well. Supporting him, Rajatava Dutta as the doctor impresses andPavan Malhotra once again showcases his underrated talent playing the unaware father.

Music in a Vishal-Gulzar film has to live up to its reputation and that's exactly what can be said about the songs of ETD too. Though as usual the tracks are all forcibly inserted into the narration, still one enjoys watching "Kaali Kaali" (for the romance) and "Totey Ud Gaye" (for the dance) providing the casual relief moments. However "Yaaram", despite being good, hinders the pace of the movie, which could have been avoided. The DOP tries to maintain the mood of the film throughout, mixing the dark frames with the lighted ones. But in the process makes it mostly dark which becomes annoying at times. Background score deserves a special mention here for its innovative tones but the same words cannot be used for its special effects department, sadly.

In all ETD mainly impresses due to its inventive & original subject, adapted by the debutant director Kannan Iyer, who confidently proves that he has got the talent to deliver a perfect entertainer soon. The film steps on to the next level with its enjoyable performances & screenplay but could have been a real killer with a different culmination providing the missing shock. Its final moments did remind me of a scary masterpiece ROSEMAY'S BABY directed by Roman Polanski in the late sixties. And with a more imaginative climax it surely could have become an attempt to be the ROSEMARY's BABY of Indian Cinema, arguably.


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