The success of Naagin has spawned several me-too fantasy concepts. Interestingly although supernatural genre has many facets i.e. paranormal and ghost etc, only the chudail and daayan variety seems to be winning the TRP wars e.g. Nazar and Manmohini. Even the man antagonist of Qayamat Ki Raat has shifted from a grotesque looking tantrik to a sexy chudail essayed by Madhurima Tuli.
No wonder &TV which is still looking for its second fiction driver after Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai has turned to none other Ekta Kapoor to helm its new dayan show titled Daayan.
Daayan marks the return of Tina Datta to the tube after a long break. She plays a simple Ujjain girl Jaahnvi who returns home for her sister in law’s g godh bharai (baby shower) with her friends. But enroute Jaahnvi is plagued by nightmares in which she sees a sexy chudail (Pavitra Punia) kidnapping a young boy. Just before that, the chudail gives her basic lessons in what separates chudails from other supernatural entities. All those wanting to make future spooky shows should see this part carefully, as it can be a good instruction manual. Did you know white lizards are signs of good omen as opposed to black crawly creatures? For me, both are yuck though.
Jaahnvi’s joint family is complete with dadi,dad, conservative elder cousin brothers, their wives and a good for nothing boozard chacha whose gives free fund daayan gyaan. Something dark and sinister has happened to Jaahnvi’s elder sister which the family is keeping away from her.
To Jaahnvi’s shock she sees the same kidnapped child at the godh bharai ceremony and ends up embarrassing herself when she asks his mother if her child was snatched the night before. Obviously her family suspects that she is talking crazy due to dope.
In between, her friends getting bored by the ceremony go pubbing in a five star hotel owned by Jaahnvi’s old school mate Aakarsh Chaudhary (Mohit Malhotra), who she had turned down.
In yet anther quirk of fate there is an actress who looks like Jaahnvi and one drunk guest attempts to solicit her. An angry Aakarsh comes to her rescue threatening to throw him down few floors. Also one of Jaahnvi’s male friend Tej (Aman Gandhi) has the hots for Jaahnvi, but can’t gather enough courage to tell her the truth.
Jaahnvi’s best friend Tanya, (Mishmee Das) who looks hot in a short number asks Aakarsh to play cupid, but he ends up making him drink too much and Tej ends up getting insulted by Jaahnvi’s folks. An embarassed Tej very quickly overpower the hangover and leaves the house but is attacked by dark forces. When Jaahnvi comes to know the truth, she goes out in search for him, but is also attacked by the daayan who throws her off a cliff. Jhanvi hangs by a tree before Aakarsh becomes her knight in the shining armour. Would you save someone who has pushed you back by huge amount of moolah, well our hero does so, despite apparently Jaahnvi scuttling his major business deal.
Jaahnvi returns to the hotel where the doppelgänger is shooting a scene and her friends scuttle a rival actor’s scene to get the part. Here humour was needed to break the morass.
Something is starting to cook to between Jaahnvi and Aakarsh when he locks her in the closet when the other girl enters his room. He also openly flirts with her.
Jaahnvi is shocked seeing the same chudail from her dream in real when she protects a child from a rude director. Her wits are even further flustered when she sees a portrait of the same witch as a 200 year old dead princess. Pavitra looks sizzling in sari. Daayans are supposed to have killer looks and she has just the right avatar for the same.
Tej agrees to help her unearth the truth which might be connected to the hotel which is set up in an old palace once owned by the chudail family. There are more witch lessons in tow about how yesteryear suspected witches were burnt alive.
We wonder if Tej will sell his soul to the devil in jealousy when he will see Jaahnvi getting close to Aakarsh.
Further hell breaks loose when the child of the dream attacks her saying stay away from the Daayan. Again Aakarsh rescues her.
Although the fear and emotions are just right, there is one major problem with Daayan that is lack high class visuals and VFX. What we have seen so far is nothing to write home about. You can’t have a daily soap set for a fantasy. `
Maybe Ekta is hamstrung by budgets given &TV’s modest GRP. But then if you want to use the show as a tent pole, it will require to give similar genre shows a run for their money.
Tina is acting well bringing out the fear and confusion (Why is all this happening to me) to the T.
Mohit’s role has not really opened yet; he is doing what is required so far.
The huge ensemble cast starting from Amit Singh Thakur, Prabhat Bhattacharya, Kanika Shivpuri, Ekta Saraiyya and others are doing their jobs well.
All in all, Daayan needs a huge face lift in the coming weeks in terms of story, glamour and fear elements if it has to change the face of & TV.
But yes we have Etka Kapoor who is a pastmaster in changing tube fortunes on their heads. Here’s hoping for the best.
IWMBuzz.com rates Daayan with 3 out of 5 stars.