Friday, January 23, 2004


There seems to be no plausible reason for Vikram Bhatt to make another version of Fear, when he had already used up the plot in his Inteha last year.

Aetbaar is better shot and has a much better cast, but that isn’t enough to induce one to suffer this ‘no-surprises’ wannabe thriller.

Ria (Bipasha Basu), daughter of Dr Ranbir Malhotra (Amitabh Bachchan) and his mousy wife (Supriya Pilgaonkar), is rather overaged and underdressed to be allowed into a college, but she is there, studying economics.

Aryan (John Abraham) pursues her like a pest and that makes the dumb girl fall in love with him, though she sees his goonda friends and suffers his explosive temper—he almost strangles her to death for missing a date.

Ranbir finds out that Aryan is a killer and has a dark past, but his daughter – who till that point of time showed no signs of being oppressed or ill-treated—suddenly turns round and accuses her parents of smothering her, just because they had lost another child.

As Ranbir investigates further in order to protect his idiot daughter, he finds out that Aryan was and is an absolute psycho, only Ria can’t see it.

In the Cape Fear-kind of violent climax, Ranbir battles Aryan and his gang alone, while the two women stand rooted to the spot and make mewling sounds—such an irritatingly dim-witted heroine has not been seen in Hindi cinema in a long time.

Indifferently directed, with no novelty value, Aetbaar relies completely on Amitabh Bachchan, who musters up such honesty and earnestness even in a dead-end part. Bipasha Basu looks too tarty to pass off as a “nadaan” young girl, and talks to her father and boyfriend in the same heaving, seductive way. John Abraham, shudders and shakes every time he is meant to look scary, but looks like confused dude trying to pass off as a murderous maniac.


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