News Column

A tepid tale

April 27, 2013


Nepal, April 27 -- A debutant director takes up a thriller; that too, a witchcraft story, to start off his career. He has support from Bollywood biggies Vishal Bhardwaj and Ekta Kapoor. Understandably, he's got a talented start cast, impressive trailers and the best publicity possible to support him. Everything, except a convincing script, that is. Director Kannan Iyer manages to make a spooky first half without a strong script, but fails miserably in the later half. The latest to be churned out of Bollywood, Ek Thi Dayaan is definitely better than most thrillers offered by the industry, but is by no means an extraordinary one. Konkona Sen Sharma's performance as the witch, Diana, is actually scarier than the entire movie. Had it not been for the actor's spellbinding performance, the film would have fallen completely flat.

Bobo (Emraan Hasmi)-the immensely popular Indian magician-has a sad past; in this very past lie the reasons for his belief in the existence of witches, and his reluctance to start a new life with his girlfriend Tamara (Huma Qureshi). As the magician is shown juggling between his past and his present, a mysterious girl Lisa Dutt (Kalki Koechlin) enters the scene. Our protagonist Bobo suspects her of being a witch. A few revelations are made thereafter, but these are neither very interesting nor quite convincing.

Almost the entire first half of the film is a flashback, and that, like I said earlier, is the best part. Vishesh Tiwari, who plays young Bobo, and Sara Arjun, who plays Misha, his sister, are very good in their respective parts. The young actors make the film watchable to a certain extent. Ek Thi Dayaan starts out fantastically, but sadly gets nowhere. It just gets strange after a point. What ruins the movie furthermore is its climax, which seemed unintentionally funny. The performances are good, and there are a couple of scenes that scare you, but then that is just about it. The film is quite dull otherwise, and far from being actually 'scary'.

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