5.7/10
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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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Did You Know?

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

An engaging eerie supernatural thriller
21 April 2013 | by (India) – See all my reviews

"..and the chivalrous prince dives down to the bed of the ocean to find the blue fish with a burning red eye.After battling with sharks he could reach to the infamous fish and split its belly with his rugged sword.Thus the deadly power of the monster stored in the fish's belly comes to an exhilarating end.."–As a child we often heard such folklore from our grandparents.With rich heritage of folklore & myths,I used to wonder why Hindi cinema don't explore those terrains while our foreign counterparts have given a whole new dimension to the werewolves and vampires straight out of the folklore of the west.Without broadening the horizon the bollywood film-makers played safe by doing monotonous horror films repeating similar structure(& often stories).Here comes a film that breaks the predefined norms.

Based on a short story by literary laureate Mukul Sharma(Happens to be Konkona's father),talented Vishal Bhardwaj adapts that for a full length film.ETD is a folklore set in urban Indian city.The story is about a famous magician Bobo who is disturbed by his dark,unexplainable,transcendental childhood memories which haunts him often.At a tender age of 11 he read a book on devils & daayans(Witches) which explored the age-old believes on daayans such as the power lies trapped in their "choti"(long braided hair),they need to sacrifice a human child to regain their strength etc. Imbibing those believes the adventurous young mind comes to the conclusion that every building has its own hell & the by pressing "666"(code to hell) the lift will take you there.Nurturing such believes he & his sister meets their new governess Diana whom they presumed to be a witch and has come from the hell of their building.Gradually few uncanny incidences followed by the death of his sister and father further strengthens his believes. Even years after these incidents, images of the past haunts him as he lives in dilemma about the existence of such occult forces.

Debutant director Kannan Iyer got ample support from producer Vishal Bhardwaj as was evident from the dark frames used,which are trademark of Vishal.The film opens with shadowy blue & black frames with Rekha Bhardwaj rendering her voice to the infesting, creepy "Lautungi Mein" which sets the mood of the film.Bhardwaj's screenplay is taut & we are straight away introduced to Bobo's problems in life.With Bobo being hypnotized back to his childhood the audience is in for some creepy ride.With sharp editing by veteran ShreekarPrasad & tilted camera angles by SaurabhGoswami (few long shot to substantiate the lonely creepy feel) did the trick.ClintonCerejo's background score set the atmosphere perfectly.Kudos to Iyer for the extra effort he invested in setting each & every props at Bobo's place and psychiatrist Dr RanjanPalit's chamber. It is one of the rare Hindi films that doesn't use any gimmicks to scare but resorts to characterization & atmosphere to bring out the spooky element which lingers long after the film gets over.The film keeps a realistic feel even within its surreal limitations.The dialogs add in to the proceedings with age-old myths seamlessly getting merged into urban existence. Bhardwaj-Gulzar combo again succeeds in bringing a winning track which complements the narrative."Lautungi Mein" reminds the yesteryears songs from Mahal,Gumnam & with semi-classical tone evokes a earthy horror feeling."Yaaram" is a brilliant composition & these proceedings following the song sequence accelerates the speed towards the somewhat bizarre climax.

Till the climax I was mumbling to myself that ETD is indeed a classic but then cliché final confrontation reminded me of those run-of-the-mills Vikram Bhatt films which made me ponder what would have forced Kannan Iyer to cater to the gallery at the penultimate sequence.The good-versus-evil finale looked misfit in otherwise smart film.Also the big twist at the end could have been foreseen in the first half itself.

Iyer had the opportunity to work with the finest talents in Bollywood & it paid-off successfully.The actresses in the film had made a striking impression especially Konkona(Diana).The role offered her was something which is diametrically opposite to what she had been doing till now & she did complete justice to it.The role will be long talked about in years to come.Huma Qureshi showed her potential with GOW, LSTCK and she continues to impress in this film too.With perfect blend of good looks & talents she will be the one to watch out for in near future.Kalki Koechlin is always dependent & there is no aberration here.Being introduced post-interval her character breaks the monotony of the narrative & brought in fresh angles to the quest to find the 'original' witch.It is heartening to see talented veteran actor Pawan Malhotra, in a meaty role of Emraan's geeky professor father.He exudes the right emotions making the character expressive.Rajatava Datta(a fine actor & a big name in Bengali cinema)excels as Dr Palit,the psychiatrist,who is suppose to act most rational,seems confused about his believes in myths of witches & is as eager to learn the truth.Visshesh Tiwari is marvelous as young Bobo.His histrionics were flawless-an excellent actor in the making.The child actress who played bebo's sister had the charm and innocence to hook the audience to the screen. .And the leading man Emraan Hashmi who has been criticized by critics for his choice of roles till he bounced back with "Dirty Picture",'Shanghai","Ek th daayan" (& now upcoming "Ghanchakkar").In each of the films he explored varied characters & wooed us with his acting abilities.As psychologically disturbed Bobo with a haunting puzzling past Emraan grasped the nuances of the character & delivered a top-notch performance.

ETD is a great attempt in Hindi celluloid albeit a mediocre climax.The entire team should be applauded for the effort to concatenate ancient myths with modern existence & deliver a hardcore entertaining creepy horror film.Good to see concepts like folklore,zombies are explored thus giving us break from the bland taste of formula based Hindi movies.

P.S:For all horror lovers do watch the 2012 Tamil film "Pizza" which is a landmark in this genre for its execution & novelty.


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