Hours before the film releases and a day before the reviews appear, here’s what you can expect from this week’s release(s)…
Film: Ek Thi Daayan
Cast: Emraan Hashmi (last seen in Rush; 2012), Huma Qureshi (last seen in Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana; 2012), Konkona Sen Sharma (last seen in Mirch; 2010) and Kalki Koechlin (last seen in Shanghai; 2012)
Storyline: A magician (Emraan) with a disturbing past is haunted by a mysterious ‘daayan’ (witch). Singing Punjabi songs, making out in tents, he is happily in love with his wife (Huma), when a suspicious Lisa Dutt (Kalki) enters his life.
Director: Kannan Iyer (Debut directorial)
He was credited as the co-screenwriter of Harman Baweja’s massive flop, Victory (2009), which he was also a second unit director on. He was an assistant director on Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen (1994) and wrote the Sanjay Dutt film, Daud: Fun On The Run (1997).
Music: Vishal Bhardwaj
The soundtrack with five songs has received great reviews. The track ‘Yaaram’ is a hot favourite.
The makers’ plan to get self-proclaimed Wiccan priestess Ipsita Roy Chakraverti to be part of the promotions backfired when she took offence to the portrayal of witches in the movie. “… the film supports the age-old prejudice of burning women after branding them as witches. I strongly believe that such films should not release…,” she was quoted saying. Did she watch the film? No; just the trailer. And who addressed her non-issue? The President of India and the National Women’s Commission! This has to be a matter of national concern, right? The drought-ridden state of Maharashtra and rampant lawlessness can wait.
The trailer of the film was first launched with co-producer Vishal Bhardwaj’s Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola. In March this year, co-producer Ekta Kapoor roped in the female protagonists of various Balaji Telefilms soaps for a special series called Ek Thi Naayka to promote the film. Then of course, a Wiccan priestess stepped in to ensure the rest.
It is reportedly the first thriller-horror film to have received a U/A Censor certificate. The other firsts include the unusual casting and some help from the Prez. The promo packs in the chills needed to market any horror flick — kid talking to a freaky doll, hushed whispers, moving shadows, dark staircases, Kalki Koechlin and the works. Most Indian films made in this genre tend to disappoint. Judging by the trailer, though, this one looks promising.
For the final verdict, look out for Anupama Chopra’s review tomorrow in the Watch & Listen page of Hindustan Times