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A post-mortem of 'Ek thi Daayan'
Produced by Ekta Kapoor and Vishal Bhardwaj, directed by Kannan Iyer, the movie 'Ek thi Daayan' opened to mixed reviews. It is a story of Bobo (Emraan Hashmi) a renowned illusionist popularly known as 'Bobo the baffler' haunted by a mysterious past.

Taking the help of hypnosis, he travels back in time to his childhood where he recalls his tryst with a “daayan” or witch played by Konkona Sen, a woman called Diana. Bobo’s claims are dismissed as the ravings of a child who is obsessed with the occult and unwilling to accept Diana as his stepmother.

He is forced to hide his feelings and tolerate Diana’s presence in the house. However, this results in the twin deaths of his sister and father. Diana wants Bobo to be a part of her dark world but he manages to destroy her by cutting her choti. The witch promises to return.

Years later, the sudden arrival of Lisa Dutt (Kalki Koechlin) fuels Bobo’s belief that the witch is back to get him. An accident which leads his wife Tamara (Huma Qureshi) to the hospital and her suspicion that Lisa pushed her makes him certain that it is Lisa he has to look out for. A series of confusions and mishaps follow leading to the surprise ending in true Bollywood style.

Despite superb acting by a stellar cast, the latter half degenerates from a subtle psychological thriller into massy melodrama. Emraan Hashmi manages to hold his own despite a female dominated storyline. The child actor, Vishesh Tiwari who essays the role of the young Emraan Hashmi gives a convincing performance as the precocious Bobo.

The film incorporates horror into the regular and mundane. The concept of each Apartment block having its own hell, Konkona Sen’s mysterious comings and goings in the lift, Bobo being attacked by a lizard which he believes to be the witch, Diana’s eye movements, all add to the intrigue and takes the screenplay up a few notches.

The film is not bereft of its lighter moments too, Bobo narrating to Dr Palit about wanting to hit his father as the latter falls for the wily Diana, his pretending to like his new step mother, a crazed and hysterical Emraan Hashmi going for an attendant’s long braid at a restaurant add to the dark humor that the film is laced with.

The music by Vishal Bhardwaj with lyrics by Gulzar helps to create and set the tone. Though the film takes off in quite an impressive fashion, but it fails to deliver anything new. The promise of the first half is eclipsed by the disclosure at the end. Despite the disclaimer that the film does not want to promote the notion that women are witches, it does little to dispel the superstitions regarding women and witchcraft hugely prevalent in Indian society.

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