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Bollywood/Hollywood Thrillers

As I've mentioned before, quite a few Bollywood films are based on Hollywood ones. (And sometimes films from other countries as well). So for this post I'm featuring a couple of Bollywood films and the Hollywood movies they were based on. This post contains spoilers. :)


Aitraaz (2004) is the film that inspired this post! The Bollywood film channel B4U Movies is free to air at the moment and I watched Aitraaz last night. I first saw it years ago (rented it on video from the library!). It's a remake of the 1994 film Disclosure starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore, and since I have Disclosure saved on my Sky planner I watched it again last night as well! Aitraaz (which translates as "Objection") is also based on the real life case of American basketball player Kobe Bryant.

The film is about businessman Raj Malhotra (Akshay Kumar) who works for a mobile phone company. He is happily married to Priya (Kareena Kapoor) and they are expecting a baby. He is doing well at work until the appearance of his boss' wife who is also his ex-girlfriend Sonia (Priyanka Chopra), throws a spanner in the works. They dated while living in South Africa but Raj ended the relationship after Sonia put her career ahead of starting a family with him and aborted their baby.

Now Sonia is in a powerful position and she still wants Raj. She sets out to seduce him and when he rejects her because he's moved on and is now married; she decides to get revenge by accusing him of raping her, even though she was the one sexually harassing him! But Raj won't let her win and prepares to fight her in court.

Here's the video for I Want To Make Love To You, where Sonia is seducing Raj. The playback singer is Sunidhi Chauhan. I have the album and there's a male version on there as well, sung by Kunal Ganjawala.

Check out my 2015 post Bollywood Boxing Day! for more Aitraaz videos:

Disclosure is based in the book by Michael Crichton (probably best known for Jurassic Park) and is about computer specialist Tom Sanders (Michael Douglas) who works for the company Digicom. He's married to Susan Hendler (played by British actress Caroline Goodall) and they have two kids. They're planning to merge with a larger company but there are problems with the CD-Rom production line they're working on, headed by Tom. Since he's a dedicated worker Tom believes he's in line for a promotion but is shocked when it instead goes to new arrival Meredith Johnson (played Demi Moore) , who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend.

Meredith invites Tom to her office after hours to discuss the production line problem, but it soon becomes clear that it's merely a ruse to get him alone and she throws herself on him. Despite Tom's protests, Meredith won't take no for an answer. After momentarily wavering, Tom knows he can't cheat on his wife and leaves, causing Meredith to fly into a rage because he won't sleep with her. The next day he turns up at the office to find he's being accused of attempted rape.

Tom refuses to take this lying down and accept his boss Bob Garvin's (played by Donald Sutherland) attempt to exile him to Texas. He enlists the help of lawyer Catherine Alvarez (Roma Maffia) to accuse Meredith of sexually harassing him and they go to mediation. When an answering machine tape comes to light featuring a message Tom accidentally left during the incident (which clearly recorded his protests, Meredith loses her cool and the case. But thing aren't what they seem and the battle for his job is not over yet...

Here's the Disclosure trailer:

And here's one of the final scenes where Tom plays Meredith at her own game during a meeting that was set up to make him look incompetent:

Both films are quite similar but Disclosure is a lot more sexual, more of an erotic thriller. Since Aitraaz is a Bollywood film (Bollywood is known for being more conservative and kissing isn't often shown) it's not as sexual but is racier than a lot of othes.

The movies raise interesting questions about men and women, gender inequality, boundaries in the workplace and sexually assertive women being seen in a negative light (issues that are still relevant today). We've been taught to believe on some level that men can't be sexual harassment and rape victims (at least not of women) but of course they can. There's a scene in Disclosure where Meredith's assistant locks the door on her and Tom and if you reverse that scene to have a woman being locked in with her male boss, you can see how scary that would be. Men have the advantage of physical strength but can still be manipulated and overpowered.

Tom and Raj are forced to rethink their behaviour towards their secretaries. Tom is in the habit of hitting his secretary Cindy (Jacqueline Kim) playfully on the bottom and Raj does the same with his secretary. They seem to not have considered how it's inappropriate and might make women feel uncomfortable, especially because they work for them.

Aitraaz ends with Sonia committing suicide, whereas Meredith merely loss her job. And in Aitraaz Raj's wife Priya comes to his defence in court, acting as his lawyer and wins the case. (Which does seem  slightly unrealistic when she's not actually a lawyer but never mind! It is mentioned in Disclosure that's Tom's wife Susan is a lawyer.

Check out Disclosure and/or Aitraaz if you get a chance and think they'd be films you'd enjoy. :)


Aetbaar (2004) is a Bollywood thriller based on the 1996 American film Fear starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Wahlberg. Aetbaar is one of my favourite Bollywood films and I have it on DVD. I also have Fear saved on my Sky planner.

Aeetbar (Trust) is about Ria (Bipasha Basu), the daughter of doctor Ranveer Malhotra (played by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan).* Ria's brother died in a car accident years ago and this has caused Dr. Ranveer to be understandably protective of his only daughter. So when she meets and starts dating Aryan Trivedi (John Abraham) who has no legal job (he's into stealing cars) and belongs to a gang of motorcyclists, he is horrified.

 Ranveer wants the best for Ria but she is being isolated by Aryan and his disapproval of the relationship further pushes her away. Determined to save his daughter he digs into Aryan's past and finds some disturbing information about the death of his father and his relationship with his former college teacher. He sets out to trap Aryan into showing his true colours. However even his arrest by police isn't enough to stop Aryan from coming after Ria.

This is the title song from Aetbaar. It's my favourite song. The singers are Abijheet and Alka Yagnik.

Random fact: Bispaha Basu and John Abrham dated in real life after meeting on film Jism in 2002. They were known as a "supercouple". They split-up in 2011 and have since married other people.

Fear tells the story of teenager Nicole Walker (played by Reese Witherspoon) who lives with her dad Steven (William Petersen), stepmum Laura (Amy Brennemen) and stepbrother Toby. She's close to her dad but is growing up and starting to pull away from him. After meeting David McCall (mark Wahlberg) on a night out with her best friend Margo (played by Alyssa Milano) she starts dating him.

This is Nicole's first proper, sexual relationship. She enjoys having a boyfriend and David seems nice and polite but her dad Steven is suspicious of him and it becomes clear that he's right to be. David has a troubled past which has led to anger problems and mental issues, and as times goes on he becomes increasingly jealous of Nicole's relationship with her best male friend Gary. He has violent outbursts and puts Nicole and her friends in danger. After the death of Gary and having had enough of David's erratic behaviour she breaks up wit him for good. But he won't let her go easily and along with his housemates he breaks into the Walkers house and terrorises Nicole and her family.

Here's the trailer:

As with Disclosure and Aitraaz, Fear is more of an overtly sexual film than Aetbaar. There are similar scenes, most notably the house break in towards the end. The way Margo is treated is disturbing. David rapes and threatens her and Nicole believes that she willingly slept with David, not that she was raped. Margo is flirtatious but she is a loyal friend. Another notable scene is where David smashes Steven's car and then leaves a note on it saying, Now I popped both your cherrie's!" (sic).

I like both films, again they are both though provoking. Nicole and Ria are at first thrilled to have devoted boyfriends but then it turns into a nightmare when their darker, possessive sides are revealed. Aetbaar and Fear examine the relationship between fathers and daughters and how they change once daughters start to grow-up and when boyfriends come into the picture. Fear also looks at the often strained relationship between teenagers and stepparents. I don't like Laura that much at the beginning of the film, she seems a bit mocking and say to Steven that she'll teach Nicole how to do her make-up so she doesn't "look like a sl*t"! But towards the end of the movie she becomes more supportive. The home invasion scenes are really creepy, especially in Fear.

The Bollywood film Inteha (2003) is also based on Fear. I've seen it years ago but didn't know that. Vikram Bhatt directed both Inteha and Aetbaar.

Hope you enjoyed the post! Have you seen any of these films? Are there any other Bollywood remakes you like?

*The surname Malhotra seems to be a popular choice! I know Abbas-Mustan who directed Aitraaz,  like the names Raj and Priya since they also used them in Humraaz, lol. Another character in Humraaz, Karan also has the surname Malhotra.


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