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Movie Review: Aitraaz

Genre: Legal battles
Director: Abbas-Mastan

Storyline:

Corporate hotshot Raj Malhotra (Akshay Kumar) is a carefree bachelor busy with his life as an Engineer in Voice Mobile, the biggest Mobile maker and service provider. He is on the look out for a housemaid and ends up meeting a job-seeking young lawyer Priya (Kareena Kapoor) who had missed the address of Raj’s neighbourhood lawyer Chotrani (Anu Malik). Raj falls for Priya in the filmy ishtyle Love at first sight and eventually marries her.

At Voice mobile’s 5th Annual day, Raj is scheduled to be promoted to the post of CEO. But, when it seems that Raj’s corporate success is unstoppable, enter Soniya (Priyanka Chopra) young wife of Voice’s septuagenarian Chairman Rakesh Roy (Amrish Puri). Roy appoints his wife as the MD of Voice. While the new MD announces the promotions at the Annual day, she throws a surprise and Raj is inducted into the board of directors instead of an ordinary promotion. While everyone around Raj congratulate him, Raj seems to be in deep thought.

Soniya throws a party for all the employees of Voice. She takes the opportunity to make advances at Raj. But, Raj is not amused. Cut to Flash back: South Africa, 5 years ago. Raj spots Soniya in a swimsuit at a beach in Cape-town. Soniya loses her car keys and Raj offers her a lift. Raj finds that Soniya is trying to start a career in modeling and offers her a job to endorse MTN mobile, the company for which he was then the Marketing head. Gradually, Raj and Soniya develop an intimacy and Soniya turns pregnant. Raj intends to marry her. But Soniya has her own plans to achieve her dreams of power, position and money and says that marriage and kids are a hindrance to her. Subsequently, she chooses abortion. Disgruntled by the differences, Raj ends the relationship.

The next day is Soniya’s first day in office as MD and Raj’s as a Director. She then invites him to her residence where she was alone then. Raj discovers that Soniya had inducted him into the board of directors only with an intention to repeat her old affair with him. Raj wants to be professional but all that Soniya wants is a physical relationship. Raj feels that her advances towards him are morally wrong and denies her. Feeling Insulted, Soniya, tells her husband that Raj tried to make advances towards her. Roy then asks Raj for his resignation.

Raj tries his level best to convince people that he is innocent. But, it seems to him that the whole world is against him and nobody wants to believe his truth. Raj takes the advice of his lawyer friend Chotrani who advices him not to fight the case as the court and the media wouldn’t believe that a woman could physically exploit a man. While Raj gets ready to resign, Priya convinces Raj to fight the case and prove his innocence.

The intensity of the movie turns serious with Court-room drama where it seems that nobody seems to believe his innocence, courtesy lack of evidence. Raj and Priya chance on taped evidence in a voicemail of a number of a bank manager that Raj had dialed. The message records the conversation of Soniya’s advances and Raj’s denial and this could prove Raj’s innocence. Soniya’s destroys the evidence in what it seems like an accident and leaves Chotrani badly maimed. But then, Priya dons her lawyer’s gown and stands by to protect her husband. She cross-examines Soniya, bringing out their past, the abortion and provides voicemail evidence directly from the voice messaging centre of a colleague’s number. (For those wondering how the message ends up in two voicemail numbers, it is shown that the new phone by Voice had a technical snag that automatically dialed two numbers into a conference call whenever one number was dialed). Finally, Raj proves his innocence and ego-maniac Soniya who couldn’t bear the failure kills herself.

Comment:

Aitraaz seems to be inspired (err copied) from the 1994 Michael Douglas, Demi Moore Hollywood flick Disclosure. Although the story of the movie is quite predictable, it definitely has a perspective in its subject. The idea of presenting ‘affairs’ where the female is the aggressor is different from the generally accepted norm that the male is the typical aggressor in an affair.

The story has been dealt well, of course not without some bloopers like people sitting cross legged in a court and funny dialogues like ‘Insaan do kisam ke hote hain – Mard aur Aurat’ (there are two kinds of humans – Male and female), and the bad joke about bottoms by Paresh Rawal that do not augur well with the usual decorum in a court.

Of all performances, Priyanka Copra steals the show with her stunning looks and her performance that fit the role of Soniya. Kareena plays the sweet girl turned dutiful wife who can be a ‘savitri’ while defending her husband. Akshay Kumar has done a good job too. Paresh Rawal and Anu Kapoor show their drama skills as lawers in the court. Amrish Puri doesn’t have much of a role anyways.

The film’s music is not very memorable except for the first song ‘Gila Gila’. Although the song is ‘hummable’, it would disappoint you with poor choreography.

Bottomline: If you have time and the tickets are cheap, you can try out this movie. (I went to this movie only because there was one ticket free with every ticket purchased. he he he)
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