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San Marcos United States of America
Good movie, but horribly sexist
Mar 19, 2005 01:27 PM 3473 Views
(Updated Mar 19, 2005 01:29 PM)





Overall Aitraaz gets a 7/10 from me.

I would say, watch this if you are a fan of Akshay, Kareena, Priyanka, or the director duo of Abbas-Mustan. Otherwise you can probably give it a miss. The movie is no classic, and has significant problems -- but it is a decent timepass nonetheless. I felt it was worth the 10 US dollars price of admission, and I did come out of the movie theater with a satisfied feeling.


The story has several exciting twists you don't see coming, but which are set up. You can tell that thought has been put into the story, and scenes/lines happen for a purpose -- which is no surprise coming from Abbas-Mustan.

A couple of the song picturizations are great. That ''I Want to Make Love to You'' song, which some people have winced at, is picturized on one take on a stylized-dancing-around that clearly implies a sex scene. Awesome. There's also a song set aboard a ship with significant lyrical meaning, and with trading off of partners that is memorable.

The movie addresses a societal issue rather than being merely escapist.

The opening comedic segments (going to the wrong place to apply for work, and then Akshay's dilemma) put a huge grin on my face.


Akshay acts fairly well ... He's somewhat monotone at times, and there's one lecturing speech he gives to Priyanka's character in South Africa that is not great (this could be due to the writing or subtitles that I felt this). But Akshay handles the vulnerability of his character well in the pivotal exploitation and courtroom scenes.


As I feared, this movie is mildly ''male chauvinist''. The woman who wants a career is portrayed as selfish and vampy, while the woman who gets married seems to just stay at home ... There's no medium, moderate road. That contrast between Kareena and Priyanka's characters is minor, though, compared to what one of the lawyers for Akshay's character says. He says there are two kinds of people in this world, women and men -- women are like a river, beneficial when they stay within their boundaries, but when they go over those boundaries, then they are harmful. He doesn't say anything about men!! It's up to the opposition lawyer, who we as the viewer are not supposed to root for, to point out the hypocrisy.

The movie doesn't even try to be family-friendly. A movie about sexual harassment is going to have to have to deal with sex in some way, but there is a lot of needless ''exposing''. Mostly this is on the beach, and mostly this involves Priyanka Chopra. There's also one poor female extra in an otherwise great, different-looking song picturization for ''Gela Gela Gela'' (the first song), who is really exposed; I'm surprised she agreed to that costume.

Either Priyanka Chopra's acting, or her character, is too one-dimensional, particularly in the present-day scenes. She's better in the flashback scenes, but she still doesn't seem to have much range or positive (rather than annoying) screen presence. I would like to see her in a non-sexed-up role before I write her off completely though; this was the first movie I've seen of hers.

The courtroom scenes don't seem ''right'', but then again, I am not a lawyer, nor am I in India, so maybe that is how the process works in India.

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