When was the last time that a Bollywood horror flick scared the guts out of you? And went really old school to unravel the classic scare-crows? Well, this one is for you. 2013 saw many ‘chudails’ and ‘bhot pret’ but this daayan comes straight out of the palace of horror.
Ek Thi Daayan (English translation: Once there lived a Witch) is a Bollywood horror film directed by Kannan Iyer. The film features Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen Sharma, Huma Qureshi and Kalki Koechlin.
I was excited to watch this movie because of Emraan and Konkona. I wanted to see how they gel on screen and that too in a supernatural flick! The mood is set with the opening disclaimer, one that assures us that the film isn’t intended to promote witchcraft.
Bobo (Emraan Hashmi) is a theatrical art magician. A traumatized past, a mysteriously curious girlfriend and a flashback which lasts through the first half of the film, and makes for pretty riveting cinema. Bobo is fascinated by witchcraft which takes up to new length as he grows up. Watch a horror movie, and that too a good one if you want to know the story. I will go all non classy so as to let you watch and piss in your pants, for all we know.
The three leading ladies – Konkona Sen Sharma, Huma Qureshi and Kalki Koechlin need to be mentioned before Hashmi, the awesome actor. They all are a perfect cast for their perfect roles. Though their roles aren’t the one which spooks you, (Even though it was meant to be so… ) Yet, their cadre in a supernatural flick is super awesome. Emraan shines out yet again with his role as the baffler. Pawan Malhotra is full of energy. Rajatava Dutta as the whisky loving shrink is on a great form.
Cinematographer Saurabh Goswami disappoints. Because as a horror movie is all about cinematography, this one isn’t that great. There are too many ‘hila dola’ moments and dark darkly doors to make the camera see the light of the hour. I found the other supporting cast as a bit too jolly for a horror flick.
I was horrified by some scenes and though you might just tell me afterwards, “this wasn’t the least scary movie of all”, I better tell you now – for someone who rates almost all the horror flicks as bull in bolly, I was surprised and it doesn’t matters to praise the new bull which is fresh and zingy and different. It is, in many ways, a children’s film populated with grown-up scares. And for this originality it deserves applause. You may not like the film if transcendental stuff doesn’t move you.
Watch this movie in dark, at night, unlike me, where I went for the morning show! 😛 I bet I had appreciated this movie more if I had gone after dusk. Ghosts/witches occult and full to bhootiyapa – this movie has its moments that are worth the tickets and trouble. Watch it for the sheer novelty it puts on display in its genre! As Bobo tells Misha (his younger sister) while giving her a glimpse into subterranean hell, ‘don’t be scared, look.’ “Daro nahin, dekho.”