Ek Thi Daayan (2013) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
43 Reviews
Sort by:
TITLE: An illusive Stratum whirling Belief & Disbelief !!
Dipashri Bardhan20 April 2013
'POSTER' POWER: It was something beyond just an oil painting...Standing in front of the 'Witches at their Incantations', amidst the dimness, in National Gallery, London, I was trying to conceptualize that art work by renaissance Painter Salvator Rosa...Set in a nocturnal landscape, the painting aesthetically depicted the revulsion associated with witches…It was the summer of 2010, when I first saw this composition there...A few days before, when I chanced upon the enigmatic 'First Look Poster' of 'Ek Thi Dayaan', my mind automatically flew back to that masterpiece of blackness, that amazed me roughly 3 years back...The flying cilia-like hairs of three leading ladies in the movie poster, almost camouflaging the branches of a ghostly tree, while encircling a male face, accompanied by different expressions in their respective faces, thereby highlighting the sharp contrast of light & shadow unanimously increased the 'mystery quotient' of this film, which is surely a prerequisite for the success of such genre of movies...Now when, the seed (expectation) is carefully sown in the Poster/Trailer of 'Ek Thi Daayan', the rest certainly depends on the farmer (Director) how methodically (Screenplay/Acting/Editing) he harvests the crop (Movie) in his allocated land (Mind of viewers, including critics)…Let me shed a little light on this !!

PLOT: The film is about the constant hallucinations which painfully attack the successful life of magician Bobo (Emraan Hashmi)...Death of his father & sister by a dreadful power (perceived as a 'Daayan') in his childhood, keeps him haunted till his adulthood, as the sorcerer (Konkona SenSharma) promised to return to him someday...Bobo seeks psychiatric help from Doctor Palit (Rajatava Dutta) who brushes off his fear as sheer fantasy…Tamara (Huma Qureshi) marries Bobo & they lead a joyful married life until the arrival of a fascinating lady named Lisa Dutt (Kalki Koechilin)...Bobo starts to believe that Lisa is that 'Daayan' who came back to break him down, followed an unexpected twist at the end…

THUMBS UP: 1) Plenty of spine chilling moments are there, along with clap worthy performance by Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sensharma, Vishesh Tiwari (in the role of young Bobo) & Kalki Koechlin !! 2) Writing by Mukul Sharma & Vishal Bharadwaj added a distinctive coating to the film's spooky atmosphere…Appreciating cinematography by Saurabh Goswami optimized the eidolic flavour of the drama !! 3) Skillful editing by Sreekar Prasad & superb special effects upgraded the paranormal aspect of this fiction !! 4) Music by Vishal Bharadwaj brims with sincerity, with a special mention to 'Totey Ud Gaye' & 'Kaali Kaali'...'Yaaram' sounds better in terms of lyrics (credit goes to Gulzar)...As a debutant Director, Kannan Iyer showed sufficient intensity in his story-telling ability !!

THUMBS DOWN: 1) With a few insubstantial moments, the movie becomes inconclusive in the second half, followed by a strange climax.. 2)The storyline appeared half-baked after the intermission...Also, the unnecessary length of the movie imposed a barrier to it's natural flow, hence reducing the overall entertainment value !!

DOWN THE MEMORY LANE: In my childhood, I was highly reluctant to devour the required amount of meal, which I was supposed to eat...One night, at one such moment, my grand mother pointed her index finger towards the darkness outside our home & said, "Don't make tantrums..Finish your meal soon..Or else, Daayan will take you away.." Me (ignorant about the existence of Daayan): "Who is this 'Daayan' ?" Granny (making her eyes rounder, with a pinch of horror): "Daayan is an evil woman with magical power...She takes away naughty kids & has a very long hair...She keeps her hair tied up by a single 'Choti' (twisting three different portions of hair around each other) & can transform her physical appearance into any entity" !! Being terrified, I no longer made any trouble while eating…After nearly two decades, when I went to a rural village with one of my classmate (a girl) to do a project during my Post- Graduation, we were advised by the locals of that village, not to keep our hair open while roaming at night (to keep ourselves safe from the Daayans) !! They also narrated stories regarding witches & when I interrupted at a particular story, they reminded me my language & replaced the word 'story' with 'True Incidents'…Today, while watching 'Ek Thi Dayaan', a few eerie moments & some dialogues by Bobo, describing the nature of an witch rekindled that memory for me…Once again I realized, the grey matter of human brain, which gives birth to such an weird imagination is really an amusing subject to study !!

FINAL WORDS: Starting from the cave paintings of estimated 30,000 years old (showing a pregnant woman standing in a circle with eleven other people) to the famous Shakespearean play of 1606 (the character of Lady Macbeth), the traditional beliefs encompassing witchcraft have dominated the folktales of nearly all nations across the world till date…I always wonder, why superstition in the name of mythical assumption/religious custom mainly embraces the shoulder of women ? Is not it ridiculous when girls (after puberty) are abruptly told to stay away from worship as they become 'suddenly impure', for a couple of days, every month (due to a physiological process) & after those few days, they become 'pure all at once' ? Is the definition of decency so easy ? Though based on necromancy, 'Ek Thi Dayaan' underlines such spurious beliefs on womenfolks, in it's own way…Despite being a supernatural thriller, this flick won't disappoint you as it ambiguously eulogizes that thought of Ayn Rand: "There are two sides to every issue..One side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil..."

Review By: Dipashri Bardhan,

New Delhi, India
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A fresh perspective to Horror Movies
Abhastiwari19 April 2013
Ek thi Daayan gives a very fresh perspective to horror films .It is is an enriching combination of good story telling and ethnic grandmother's witch tales.

Awesome acting by Konkona Sen Sharma and Emraan Hashmi. Other actors have also played their character up-to the mark.

Whats's Good: Acting and storytelling, unfamiliar track for a horror thriller, good background score.

What's Bad: A little disappointment towards the conclusion part of the story.

Overall one time worth watch, but don't hope for a classic
25 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
She has arrived...a new approach to horror in Indian Cinema has arrived..at last
kashish-dadwal19 April 2013
The movie relies on something that most of the traditional bollywood horror movies don't rely on, that is originality. But let me warn you, the originality is mostly in the first half of the movie. The first half is superb. It builds the story effectively making the viewers to want the second half to begin immediately.Its an achievement as the main lead of the movie,Emraan Hashmi is not present in majority of the scenes. Inspite of this the movie holds your attention in the first half. The second half begins strongly but has its ups and downs. The song yaaram is beautifully shot. The movie has some good scary scenes but it relies mostly on the psychological horror path. The twist and turns in the second half are there to be guessed easily. The climax somewhat is a bit clichéd. But the movie never bores you for a moment. The script is superbly written by Mukul Sharma and Vishal Bhardwaj. The debutante director hits the right mark with his first outing, and is a director to watch out for. For the performances, Emraan plays his part well without really over reacting like normally actors do in Hindi horror movies. Konkana is wonderful as usual. The surprise performer of the movie is the child artist playing the young Emraan. Overall, Ek thi daayan tries an unseen approach to Indian horror, and it succeeds. Ohh yes it succeeds.
24 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
WITCH's tail first time in Indian cinema, with an ordinary climax !!!
amit15197721 April 2013
Good work done by KANNAN IYER.and well written by Vishal Bhardwaj.The story is like our childhood's witch tail told by many many times but the presentation is good.In the first half of movie you will see an very good combination of DRAMA,HORROR and ACTING.Imraan Hasmi (Beejoy Sharad Mathur a Magician aka BOBO) and Konkana Sen Sharma did justice to their roles.Some very good magic tricks are also watchful. When Gulzaar and Vishal Bhardwaj come together results a very good music album.Song "TOTE UD GAYE" and "KALI KALI AANKHON KA" are awesome,overall a good music.

Second half of movie is an un-necessary twist,in fact movie should end in first half itself.you will see nothing new happening in second half yet you can watch it for twist and happy ending like always happen in Hindi cinema.

Overall somebody telling witch's story in Hindi cinema first time with very good background music,with very good songs but with an very ordinary climax.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An engaging eerie supernatural thriller
rangdetumpy21 April 2013
"..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.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ek Thi Daayan – It's Scary but the' Witch's Spell' doesn't last till the end
amit_sinha6221 April 2013
I was eagerly waiting for Ek Thi Dayaan since last one month and had to struggle to watch it on Friday night in a Multiplex in Mumbai after clearing a hectic schedule of prior commitments. Well, it was a sense of relief as the film didn't disappointed me. So go ahead and read it to decide if you want to watch this movie or not.

Emraan Hashmi, Bobo, the magician is in a live-in relationship with Tamra, a beautiful girl played by Huma Qureshi. He has a wonderful life as he is a successful magician, has a beautiful girlfriend and the couple want to adopt a lovable orphan kid. But wait; there is a haunting past which keeps knocking every now and then in front of Bobo as he remembers his childhood life; when he had an adorable father, a sweet little sister and his step mom Diana whom he hated her.

The story swings between Psychological Thriller, Paranormal and Supernatural situations forcing the audience to keep guessing on what lies behind the spooky events that unfolds every now and then in the film.

The events no doubt are scary and chill the bottom of your seat and even force you to jump out of your seat once or twice. The scenes where he thinks that the lift of his building goes to the hell where all the creepy people of his building who did sins in their life now stay in the hell of the building after their death scares you like hell. The mystery behind spotting a witch through the help of a book on Witches makes you think whether the witches are a reality. After a long time I get to see the right kind of haunting cinema from the Bollywood which is different from the usual Vikram Bhatt movies.

Enters a psychiatrist who had counseled Bobo earlier and then he hypnotizes him to go back to his past and reveal on how his father and his sister died. But the beauty of this revelation lies in the fact that whether this is a real revelation or just a story cooked up the disturbed mind of the magician Bobo. His fiancée Tamra, with whom he gets married forces him to sell his old flat where he stayed as a kid to another character by the name Lisa Dutt played by Kalki Koechlin. There is a mystery around the character Lisa Dutt and Emraan Hashmi goes on to unlock this mystery.

This is where the film loosens a bit and the climax goes on to follow a typical Vikram Bhatt or Ramsey style cinema.

Emraan Hashmi has matured as an actor and has a proved screen presence. Huma Qureshi is bold, sensuous and acts well. She is one actor who will go a long way in Bollywood. Konkana Sen Sharma as the Stepmother does well in her Grey shades. The supporting cast played by Pawan Malhotra who plays the father of Emraan Hashmi also plays his part well. I really liked the role of Psychiatrist played by Rajatava Dutta and of younger Emraan Hashmi played by Vishesh Tiwari.

Kannan Iyer as the débutant director gets a thumbs up as he tries to break away from the typical thriller and horror movies that are being made in Bollywood. He manages to scare his audience and entertain as well. The script and screenplay is good and Vishal Bhardwaj stands up to his name. Not to forget we get to see the magic of Gulzaar Saab lyrics again as we can't stop hearing, humming and appreciating the song "Yaaram" from the movie.

Overall, the movie is a good watch and takes you on a drive to the mystery world of witches, hell, hallucination and horror.
9 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A deliciously stark film with strong performances
Param Mehta19 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
'Ek Thi Daayan' is probably the first psychological horror film I have seen recently that is subtle and deftly handled and at the same has an intriguing story that manages to grip viewers for 2 hrs 15 min effortlessly. The initial twenty minutes of the film makes you wonder whether the film really has a well bound script or not because the introductory sequence of Bobo the magician (Emraan)is far from unique and visually appealing.Such sequences have been seen a dime a dozen before. However, no sooner does Bobo start looking back at his past through hypnosis than we see what a beautifully crafted film this is!In his past, we are introduced to his father,sister, and a mysterious saree clad woman with murderous hazel eyes Lisa Dutt who young Bobo thinks is a Daayan. His suspicions are confirmed when the Daayan murders his kid sister while playing a deathly game of hide & seek. The Daayan promises to return. Till interval this flashback is almost flawless. Post interval, Bobo settles down with his girlfriend Tamara and adopts a boy Zubin. History plans to repeat itself with the advent of the Daayan again in another form, but the question is-who is the Daayan? Bobo's suspicions are aroused when another Lisa Dutt enters his life. Till his quest is on for the Daayan, Bobo's journey is memorable and unique. However, when the Daayan is finally revealed in the climax, I am shocked but nevertheless disappointed due to the over-dramatization which wasn't required. Kannan Iyer makes a confident directorial debut. Emraan as Bobo is suitable for the role and does well. Konkona Sen Sharma deserves a standing ovation for her dynamic portrayal of Diana and this movie belongs to her. Kalki Koechlin surprisingly had a half baked character and didn't get much screen time but nevertheless was very natural and effective in her portrayal. Huma Qureshi looks stunning and she does splendidly as Bobo's girlfriend Tamara. However, she does not do justice to her best scene in the film where she could have proved her versatility. Overall this is a deliciously stark film which satisfies my appetite for a visual treat at the cinemas!
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the better super natural thrillers which could have been great with a different culmination.
bobbysing20 April 2013
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.
9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great innovative horror
murlimohanrao19 April 2013
I saw the first show of Ek Thi Daayan in Dubai yesterday. It was one of the most ingenuous horror movies that I have watched in a while.

The movie is based on the concept of witchcraft and has been dealt in a deft and creepy manner. While there are many things that stand out in the movie, some of the prominent ones are - Konkona Sen's creepy characterization, Junior Emraan's innocence and mannerisms and above all, the mind blowing climax.

The movie starts with the protagonist, a magician who fails in an act and injures his colleague. There are visions that occur to him, which seem unusual for a while in the movie but as the movie unravels, everything makes sense. To say anything more about the movie would be to spoil the enjoyment. I would actively recommend it to every Horror lover.
16 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Brilliant,Interesting and Intriguing attempt gone wrong
Manav Singh8 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Sometimes trailers look better than the whole film itself.They raise our level of expectation to such extent that even few deplorable scenes in the movie cause utter disappointment.

Now same happened with Ek thi Daayan.No doubt it is well made,acted and somewhat intriguing but it fails to deliver as per expectations..the theme of the movie dealing with witchcraft is quite interesting and different in bollywood film industry and here it fails to deliver..It looks more like an old 90's horror flicks related to black magic and offers nothing new.

Movie is good in parts and that too in first half which creates a suspense like situation..As it progresses it becomes predictable..Thanks to child version of Emraan Hashmi and grandfather of third floor.

In the second half entry of kalki(another lisa dutt) reignites some interest but due to her short role we do not get to see much of her..

The last 20 minutes of the movie provided some suspense too but i would rather call it a cheap climax as it was something not acceptable revealing huma Qureshi as Daayan number 2..why did not Emraan check her FEET,why did not he check her CHOTI(hair).? Answer is the script which was well written but poorly edited.

The only plus point of the movie is its direction which inspite of poor editing makes it watchable and good acting my Emraan hashmi and konkana..kalki had nothing much to do in the movie and huma qureshi is just waste..

The movie does provide some wonderful scenes,only in parts which don't last long..I will rate it 6 out of 10 only because of good acting,some thrilling scenes,different theme and fine direction..Never the less if you don't have anything else to do then go for it
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A breath of fresh air....
Anand Mishra20 April 2013
Amidst all the Himmatwalas and the Chashme Baddoors there comes Ek Thi Daayan.It's not a movie, it's a breath of fresh air which proves that we don't need any remake to make a good cinema,we just need a storyteller who has the guts to keep the audience at the edge of their seats even if the story is totally based on fantasies of churails and daayans and we see none other than Vishal Bhardwaj doing that.This man can deliver more when he has provided the story and also has proved so in Ishqiya and now in ETD.Don't know what is with him and the churails,first Makdee and now ETD.

Having said those things I would clearly say Ek Thi Daayan is not a classic but it has its elements.If I had the power I would say,yes first half is a classic but the same cannot be said about the second half in which the climax is also somewhat not pleasing.This 'second half curse' is biting every movie nowadays.

Emaraan Haashmi(BOBO) is good,Huma Qureshi is just OK,she is lost of expression when mostly needed.Kalki is decent enough in her extended cameo.But the one who delivers a stellar is Konkona Sen Sharma and also the younger version of BOBO.Konkona is damn good when she is present on the screen.Watch out for her eyes when she first appears in the movie where she is standing in a lift.I just wonder where she was in the past years.That child artist is also pretty impressive in the movie.

The direction,cinematography,screenplay,background score,you name it,everything stands tall at the end of it.You wouldn't be able to say that there were some portions which needed some more work to be done on,apart from the screenplay of the second half.It,s just that after the pre climax the movie loses it's pace.

But nonetheless when you would leave the theatre you would say 'I watched something totally different,something out of the box.It also has the best spine chilling moments for which I'd recommend you that if you are going to watch this one GO AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I'm going with 3.5 stars for Ek Thi Daayan.A sequel would be highly appreciated.Do not miss this one,I repeat do not miss this one if HORROR and something new is your cup of tea.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Worth watching....
negiudit8620 April 2013
I watched this movie without any idea what it was all about. All i had heard was some controversy about stereotyping of women. Can't we have any good movie without these so called politically correct people trying to sabotage them for some sort of personal gains? While my views on this must be part of some other forum, the movie makers have gone an extra mile to accommodate everyone and possibly avoid any litigation. About the movie; story- an unusual but digestible plot (more so in 1st half); actors- konkona is to watch out for(literally), emraaan does well in his comfort zone (perpetually brooding with occasional smirks), child actors do extremely well, others are OK (kalki's role doesn't justify her potential); music- fewer songs(thankfully) that do not hinder the pace of movie; editing- has resulted in an extremely tight build up until interval n sometime after that but which disappoints in the end; make-up n cinematography- perfect; dialogs- well written. The movie could be a benchmark for such genre in India but ultimately fails. So, 2 questions; should i look forward to a sequel? Definitely; should i look forward for huma qureshi in it? not with her present figure stats
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great Attempt
bhupendra-bsingh19 April 2013
Ek Thi Daayan (do keep in mind its NOT FOR WEAK HEARTED PEOPLE). Hats off to the makers for taking this step and making this movie. Vishal Bhardwaj n Ekta Kapoor U people rocked with this movie. Direction,Background Score,Editing,Cinematography,Acting almost everything meets your expectations. Emraan Hashmi Huma Qureshi Kalki Koechlin n last but not the least Konkana Sen Sharma this is certainly gonna be one landmark movie in your career.and Konkana has exceeded all the expectations. I am sure this movie will open doors to many more new ideas in Horror Genre for bollywood to explore. For all movie lovers DO GO AND WATCH THIS MOVIE IN YOUR NEAREST THEATRE. I also want to add:- like anyone else even i was afraid of lizards,but after watching this movie I might panic n faint next time i get to see one.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Extreme Thrills Delivered, But At The Price Of Bizarre Climax!
Tejas Nair19 April 2013
Konkona Sen Sharma steals the limelight in this movie and every time she appears on-screen, I was taken aback. Emraan Hashmi is genuine as a troubled illusionist while Kalki is fine as a mystery girl. Huma Qureshi makes a perfect surprise while the two kids (of flashback in a wonderful non- linear play) do a marvelous work.

Ek Thi Daayan or ETD is a very innovative horror and a magnetic experiment in Bollywood which guarantees spine-chilling thrills with a story so sharp. But the vagueness imbibed into the plot, brandished by the screenplay plays spoilsport with it. The first half is amazing. But, the second half just makes it a bad movie to watch.

Too much of confusion towards the end leaves us to think who the actual daayan (witch) is which eventually leads to an utter disappointment as you leave the theater. The chills I was experiencing in the first half with the most frightening scene being related to ponytails, all couldn't compensate for the bizarre climax as I sat there bamboozled with my partner. Had the ending been more interesting with some extra elements and dope, I would have rated it a 10 on 10.

BOTTOM LINE: Kannan Iyer's debut is more of an upsetting piece than it is horrid. But, the chills, goosebumps are guaranteed and that is what I would recommend. This is a theater material but... only the first half. So I will suggest (as a critic) that you better wait for the DVD or DTH. Music is great and songs are relishing. 50-50 --> YOU MAY GO FOR IT OR NOT! (Look for that Vodafone/Loop offer in Fame/Cinemax Theaters resp.)

Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES

Language: Mild | Sex, Nudity or Mouth-Kiss: Mediocre | Violence: Strong | Gore: Mild | Smoking, Alcohol or Drugs: Very Mild
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Surprisingly good
pcsarkar20 April 2013
Come to think of it, almost all horror films these days, whether Hollywood or Bollywood, are predictable and the scenes are clichéd. So to bring out something novel and keep the audience on tenterhooks in no mean achievement. I was fully prepared for a few yawns and a few sniggers. But I came out of the cinema hall somewhat chastised. The goings-on in the film are sufficiently sinister and the treatment is fairly novel. The female demons are quite scary and the whole film doesn't disappoint. The child artist, Vishesh Tiwari stands out and Huma Qureshi looks fresh-faced, refreshing and her eventual transformation is quite a surprise.

The end is a bit of a let down, though (which is a common feature in most horror productions), but as a package, this film is surprisingly good.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Caters To A Niche Audience!
namashi_14 May 2013
Kannan Iyer's 'Ek Thi Dayan' Caters To A Niche Audience! The film lacks universal appeal. Reason? The Treatment as well The Execution are odd, although the script is very Indian, considering that this is a Nation that believes in Witches.

'Ek Thi Dayan' Synopsis: An illusionist fails to let go off his tormenting, haunting past.

'Ek Thi Dayan' begins well, but has an Erratic Screenplay Written by Mukul Sharma & Vishal Bhardwaj. Sure, there are some moments that work. But, there are some portions that are bland. Even the final act, when the suspense is reveled, the impact isn't much. A Stronger Screenplay was required! Kannan Iyer's Direction is mostly dim & dark. Cinematography, Editing & Art Design, are passable.

Performance-Wise: Emraan Hashmi is a fine actor & he delivers a controlled performance in here. Konkona Sen Sharma is fantastic. Her performance is surely a big merit to this film. Kalki appears in a half-baked cameo, while Huma Qureshi looks out of shape & lacks the fire to carry off this part. Pawan Malhotra is excellent in a supporting role. Rajatava Dutta is first-rate.

On the whole, 'Ek Thi Dayan' holds limited appeal.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
New kind of thriller with a couple of nice songs
Vikas SS28 April 2013
For an audience that has gotten used to spooky flicks that range from scary to sorcery, flying ghosts, witches, sudden shock element, etc., it is incredibly tough to come up with something new. This is especially true of Bollywood that has seen an overdose of Ram Gopal Verma flicks. Amidst all the gloom comes a refreshing 'Ek Thi Daayan' with a gripping story, although the climax goes tad haywire.

Magician Bobo (Emraan Hashmi) is a successful magician who suddenly is being troubled by strange visions. When hypnotized, it is revealed that he holds a dark secret to how his sister and father died and the story being the spooky elevator in the building where he lived as a child. The more he seems to dig into the past to unearth its antecedents, the deeper he gets into the mystic world. Not any more should be revealed about the story because it is a worthy suspense.

The first thing I did after watching 'Ek Thi Daayan' was to Google out the difference between a 'Chudail' and a 'Daayan'. As it turns out from a random web page, a 'Chudail' is an ugly demon that emerges when a woman dies during childbirth and lives in remote areas. A 'Daayan' is a beautiful enchantress that has become one on account of harassment during her lifetime and therefore attacks men and usually lives in urban areas. Whoa, who could ever guess that!!

Some of its songs are impressive. The best of those is 'Yaaram' that's performed at the housewarming hosted by Lisa, followed by the eerie 'Lautungi Main' but Punjabi flavored 'Totey Ud Gaye' sounds lame. A few more impressive numbers could have carried 'Ek Thi Daayan' even further.

The choice of locations is impressive. The opening scenes are filmed at Gurgaon's "Kingdom of Dreams" which stages an extravaganza of sound and light with impressive transitions, a must see for those visiting the region. The locations for the eerie home and the lift are neat too. The hypnotic background in the psychiatrist's office is an interesting piece of decor and serves as a backdrop to some key scenes.

Talking about acting performances, Emraan Hashmi does what is best at. It's amazing that despite such type-cast roles and similar performance in all films, his movies still work well at the Box Office. But, Konkona is the better actor in this film. Kalki and Huma Qureishi also do reasonably well.

The Verdict: Unfortunately, not much of the story can be discussed in a review without revealing a bit of the suspense. So, if you want to know what it is, it is better to catch it while it is still in the cinema halls. This is surely not a movie that you could wait till it comes on TV. Although one shouldn't watch it with exalted hopes, since it fizzles out towards the end, you wouldn't regret watching it at all.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Spine chilling Horror...Must Watch !!!
jaydeep-subhashis20 April 2013
When Vishal Bharadwaj plays with the creative portion and Ekta Kapoor involved in the feasibility part, you can trust the project and Ek thi Daayan is definitely a genuine treat to the horror movie lovers. An innovative attempt to magnify the folklore witch thing which we've heard in our childhood, director Kannan Iyer brings the envisioned image of witch into a cinematic intelligence.

The movie revolves around a famous magician named "BOBO" being chased by a witch and Emraan Hasmi plays the character with the utmost aura and made the character quite believable.Though the young bobo played by Vishesh Tiwary deserves a double thumbs up for his performance.

The Daayans of the movie have done a commendable job. Konkona Sen Sharma has done an outstanding job and again proves when it comes to acting she leaves no stone unturned to make the character real. Her eyes portrays the thirst and wicked intentions perfectly and overshadows the other two leading ladies. Huma Qureshi looks gorgeous and has done an earnest effort as Emraan Hasmi's love interest and yes in the climax scene she does show her acting talent and justified why she is one of the most sought after actress after a successful outing in her debut Gangs of Wasseypur. Perhaps the only flaw in the movie was Kalki Koechlin's non substantial presence where she is just there to keep audience more guessing and make them more confused.One beautiful song "Yaaram" to her credit, Kalki is completely wasted in the movie and had very little scope though she is a talented actress.

From technical point of view, cinematography is good and the special effects could have been more polished and real.Particularly the climax scene can raise some eyebrows and it feels like a stereotype ending, but the climax definitely forces the audience to clap.

Overall the movie was good and very much watchable for its fine direction and some good acting by the lead actors. The director leaves a sign of an EK THI DAAYAN 2 and girls are you going with Braided hair??? Then don't complain if anyone calls you a "DAYAN".
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Creepy, suspenseful n well acted horrror film.
Fella_shibby1 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this with my family in theatre in 2013. As a fan of horror movies this film was worth the time n money. It started like a psychological drama about a magician performing tricks who is having hallucinations bah his dead sister. It is a very creepy film with eerie ambiance. The supernatural aspect was properly dealt with. The old abandoned house, especially the elevator was truly eerie. Later thru hypnosis we come to know that the lead character is paranoid bah his step mother being a witch. It has a decent twist towards the end. The movie was engaging and suspenseful. Emraan Hashmi acted well. He was lucky to b surrounded by three hot females in this film. Konkana gave a good creepy performance. Horror fans will not be disappointed.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
steffycyril2 September 2016
Ekta Kapoor is known for creating hot characters even if she is a girl.She is the queen of Balaji Telefilms.This is one good picture made by her together with Vishal Bharadwaj. The background is completely dark in most scenes.And there is suspicion as to what and why.The film is beautiful due to the presence of selected persons.Each of them excel in their roles.The background music is subtle and is different from Emraan Hashmi's conventional movies with item songs. The dream is created in an artistic way.The scenes are cut shorted as per the need.There is no question of any costume or set.The content is the story. But yes,the climax could have been much better.Its an original account of the concept of Daayan and is one of the best selection to show the love to his wife and child.All in all,it is a different attempt like MAKDEE made by Ekta.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
sesht5 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Another old(er) review:

This one is all atmosphere. I cannot fault the casting, nor can I fault few performances, nor (some of the) setup or the technical values.

But this is something missing in this effort, and unfortunately for all those associated with this, that 'something' happens to be a vital ingredient, that breaks the entire effort into a post-mortem rumination on various film-making aspects taken separately. Once you start doing that, there is no glue holding the work together, and it can never be taken seriously.

A movie with Huma Qureshi, Kalki Koechlin, Konkona Sen Sharma and Pavan Malhotra, not to mention a Post-Shanghai+Ghanchakkar Emran Hashmi; accompanied by some decent technical values, fails to hit the mark.

The entire first segment of 'magical' build-up was so farcical, that I kept thinking that it was a(n) (unintended) comedy. Though most of the parallel back-stories make up for those faux-pas somewhat, for me, the damage was done, and I could never really find an 'in' to the tale. It vacillates so badly between being really good, tastefully done, and then really bad ('who came up with this' kinda bad) that I just kept sympathizing with anyone associated with the making of this one that had the same opinion.

I think I might know what that something missing is. Horror, when made for effect, uses some creepy makeup and sudden twists, along with a few 'boo!' moments, as its crutches, along with other staples of the genre. However, makers behind works such as the recent 'Insidious' or 'Conjuring' or even 'Oculus' (and to a lesser extent, 'The Quiet ones'), know that building an atmosphere of dread is more conducive to the entire experience, and focus on those aspects instead, lingering on the plot and the characterization, rather than clutching on to said crutches for effect. In spite of the participation of a lot of talent in-front-of and behind-the-scenes (a la Vishal 'Makdee' Bhardwaj), which kinda guaranteed this could have been a superior work, the writing and the direction lets everything good about this one down, and there's no going up from that point on.

A missed opportunity, yet, it deserves 1 viewing at the local multiplex, or on your DVD player. And oh, 'Yaaram'.....
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Nice Spin On The Daayan Legend!
fuadkhan200213 March 2014
I watched this movie after hearing a radio advertisement touting Emraan Hashmi as the male lead and it being a genuinely creepy Indian horror film. I found it to be satisfying enough, though not as scary or intense as I originally thought. It is a nice psychological thriller dealing with the age-old Subcontinental myth of the 'Picchal Peri", the witch that supposedly has turned-around feet, and haunts men and children mainly at night, when there is a lunar eclipse. I also found some unmistakable tints of casting women as being capable of having evil powers and control over men, another age-old widely held belief in a lot of world cultures. I must admit, I personally find the idea of a FEMALE demon much more terrifying than any male demon anytime!! I do not know the reason for this, maybe some other readers could expand on this psychology. Having said that, it is an absorbing tale of a little boy who has trouble accepting a new mother into the household, and who firmly believes that she is in actuality a Daayan. Psychologists dismiss it as being a classical case of trying to cope with changes in family circumstances on the child's part, but as we soon find out, there is more to the kids' claim than mere imagination and coping difficulties. The special effects are nice, nothing too gory or scary, but just subtle enough touches to induce a bit of nervousness and fascination in the audiences. The songs are nice, and Emraan Hashmi for once does not serially lip-kiss all of his female co-stars!! That is a nice change. The climax is quite absorbing and the final ending, quite satisfying. I will recommend this movie to all horror/psychological thriller fans out there. Do watch it, at least once.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Tries hard to scare…
Srinivas G Phani31 August 2013
Ek Thi Daayan is a horror film that talks of witchcraft, spells, midnight, and all those routine things every third horror movie talks of. Yet, the second quarter of the film is interesting where Konkona Sen Sharma's Daayan pretends to be the good hearted woman on the outside and the little boy's naive investigations constantly contradicting her nature.

Perhaps the biggest asset of the film is its background score by Clinton Cerejo which elevates the film from the inane and obtuse horror film it should have been. Vishal Bharadwaj's songs hinder the movie's flow, particularly the one at the party in the second-half. His story and screenplay is puerile.

Konkona Sen Sharma and Vishesh Tiwari are the only actors memorable. Emran Hashmi doesn't live up to the zest and energy created by Tiwari. The very talented Kalki Kochlein is wasted in an insignificant role.

Cinematographer Saurabh Goswami tries using heavy contrast lighting to create an eerie atmosphere but the rather dark look doesn't scare. Director Kannan Iyer is equipped with a stupid story and he makes the best out of it. I couldn't sit through the second half and haven't completed the movie but what I saw was more than enough to judge it.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
good horror made
rahuljonathan-nair2 August 2013
What's Good: An unfamiliar terrain of Supernatural thriller which is sliced straight from native folklores. The film maintains its enthralling suspense for the entire first part. What's Bad: Plotted around stereotypical myths of Black Magic, the film tends to get predictable at places. Kalki's character did not make any sense. The climax was shabbily done and was a clear disappointment. Loo break: A couple of them post interval. Watch or Not?: Ek Thi Daayan is a rivetingly thought film. An enticing beginning, a well fitted melodious background score, this film will successfully spook you out. However, the film loses its momentum drastically in the second half. Not a cult film, the film deserves a pat only for the powerful performances of Konkona and Emraan.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Haunting by a Daayan
Chrysanthepop1 July 2013
Kannan Iyer's 'Ek Thi Daayan' brings a freshness to the horror genre in Bollywood. Vishal Bharadwaj's (who wrote, scored and produced) influence is heavily evident especially in how he creates tension and atmosphere. Of course things go haywire in the final scenes(especially that awful fight sequence) and I think this was more Iyer's doing than Bharadwaj's. The film opens with a 'magic show' which is mostly unintentionally funny (some poor special effects here).

The best part of 'Ek Thi Daayan' is Bobo's childhood sequence. This one excels in tension, atmosphere, performance, lighting and editing. The fusion of Western folklore and Indian folklore was quite interesting. However, I don't think Wiccans and other witches will approve, especially of how witchcraft is described as bad magic.

Music is used effectively (for the most part). The sets, especially Bobo's childhood flat, are used efficiently. Saurabh Goswami's cinematography is fine.

Emraan Hashmi seems to be improving with every film. He does a competent job here. Huma Qureshi performs adequately. Kalki Koechlin is wasted. Pawan Malhotra is good too. The child actors playing Bobo and his sister were great. But the show belongs to Konkona Sen Sharma. It's good to see her in a negative role after a long time. With her innocent sweet girl looks masking a seductress vamp, Konkona owns all her scenes. From Bobo's perspective, the viewer knows what she's up to but it's also easy to see why Mathur falls for her.

If it weren't for the messy third act, perhaps this could have been something great. Maybe Bharadwaj should have directed it. Nonetheless, it's quite an attempt and not bad for a one-time watch if you're a fan of this genre.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews