Movie review: 'Ek Thi Daayan'

“Another reason to marry me. I don’t snore, I don’t fart and I am a tiger in bed. Grrr..,” growls the hero. Well, the unfortunate hero has to convince the poor live-in girlfriend Tamarra (Huma with the heavy hips) about what a great match he is. Things have not been going too great for him lately. He is a magician who keeps getting distracted from his work because he hears his dead baby sister’s voice right in the middle of his act (causing dire accidents to his staff, which he has to pay the bills for), he keeps spotting ulta footsteps, mysterious women in sarees and horror flashbacks from his childhood all the time and has a peculiar penchant for attracting daayans from the netherworld. To make matters worse, he is called Bobo – The Baffler and has a pesky white lizard roaming all over his house.

Ms Heavy Hips thinks his troubles lie in his horrific past connected with his father’s house and that it is time to sell it off. Bobo thinks he must seek psychiatric help and revisits his old childhood doctor. The doctor ideally should have known Bobo’s case by heart (after all, how many kids named Bobo would consult him for seeing daayans and ghosts?) but is happy to oblige us with a hypnosis-initiated flashback about Bobo’s family, the arrival of their new stepmother, a jerky unused elevator that can transport you into hell on pressing 666 (no, really) and the origins of the white lizard.

Can’t tell you more about the plot because that would spoil all the fun. But can tell you this much: according to Witchipedia, the strength of a daayan lies in her plait (a fact that has our hero Bobo rushing with scissors or knife at perfectly normal women threatening to lop off their plaits). Besides leap years, particularly February 29 is an important day for daayans. It’s their happy birthday. And on their birthday, with their Garnier Fructis enabled long hair plaits, these daayans can lift men and women and fling them around. Or when suitably pestered with moral lectures, they can simply force humans to smother themselves to death with high decibel keening-cum-screeching.

Okay, so the plot is pretty shaky, especially so after the suspense is revealed. But till the climax opens in true saas-bahu saga style, Ek Thi Daayan remains an interesting thriller. The performances are great; Emraan somehow manages to look constantly uncomfortable and uneasy, which is perfect for such films. Huma’s hips don’t lie and Kalki is chirpy. But the film really belongs to Konkona, who looks most sinister when she is happy.

The film too unfolds evenly, it creeps and lurks in the right corners and springs a scary surprise at the right moments. It’s creepy enough to keep you engaged without questioning the plot logic. What could be more gratifying for a true horror buff?       

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