Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie – Dial M for Murder (1954) was remade in Hollywood after 44 years as A Perfect Murder (1998). However its Indian version had come thirteen years prior to that as Aitbaar (1985). Director Mukul Anand adapted the classic story of Hitchcock with finesse and presented a memorable thriller to the Indian audience.Aitbaar (trust) is the story of Neha (Dimple Kapadia) who loves a singer – Saagar (Suresh Oberai) but finding him as not prepared to marry her immediately, she gets married to a Tennis player – Jaideep (Raj Babbar) according to the wish of her father. But her married life proves no better than a nightmare for her. Aggrieved due to the ill-treating of her drunkard and wife-beater husband, she is about to commit suicide when suddenly she comes across Saagar again. Immediately thereafter, an unexpected but apparently joyful twist arrives in the tale of her life when she finds her husband as transforming himself for the better. She is extremely happy for the welcome change in him and the consequential pleasant change in her life but her happiness proves to be short-lived when a letter of Saagar that he had written to her, gets stolen from her purse and then someone blackmails her on the basis of that. She pays the demanded money to the blackmailer but does not get the letter back. One day a stranger known as Vikramjeet (Sharat Saxena) breaks into her house and tries to kill her but loses his own life in her hands. Neha is arrested, tried and awarded death-penalty for the crime because it is proved in the court that she has deliberately killed Vikramjeet. However police inspector – Barua (Danny Denjongpa) smells a conspiracy against Neha in the chain of events that has taken place and starts re-examining the facts silently. And before Neha is executed, he is able to unearth the conspiracy and unmask the conspirator. He only tells (now proved innocent) Neha how a perfect murder had been planned to eliminate her, how it backfired, how the conspirator cashed even the unplanned result of his conspiracy to his advantage and how the destiny ensured poetic justice leading to her exoneration.Aitbaar is an edge-of-the-seat thriller. Director Mukul Anand has been able to indianize the classic work of Alfred Hitchcock very well and present a highly entertaining and virtually spellbinding movie for the Indian audience. Nowhere the story slackens and nowhere any boredom creeps in. It’s a brilliant drama in which there is hardly any suspense for the viewer, nevertheless there is no dearth of curiosity for him. It’s the sheer brilliance of the story idea as well as its proficient execution that the viewer cannot leave the movie in between even for a single minute. The viewer should watch the movie keeping his brains with him because everything is logically linked to the other things and to understand (and enjoy) the logically connected sequences, one has to be attentive.The director has wasted no time in beginning to tell the main story and right from the word ‘go’ the narrative starts moving ahead on the right track. The story runs swiftly towards its desired end like a bullet and the focus is maintained throughout without any diversion at all. The web of the murder-conspiracy which is the theme of the movie, starts getting woven around not only the prospective victim but also the spectator from the very first scene. And till the words ‘THE END’ appear on the screen, no superfluous scene intervenes. And that’s called the ideal script of a thriller.
Tight and speedy screenplay has been ably supported by the power-packed performances of the principal characters and the melodious and meaningful songs are the icing on the cake. Resultantly, the overall impact of the film is just superb.
Producer – Romesh Sharma and director – Mukul Anand have nowhere compromised with the production value or quality of the movie. Cinematography is brilliant, editing is par excellence and all the other significant aspects of the movie have also been taken care of very well.
All the four principal actors – Raj Babbar, Suresh Oberai, Dimple Kapadia and Danny Denjongpa have performed excellently. However if I have to choose the best performer, I will select the coughing but cunning police inspector – Danny Denjongpa for the honour. And needless to mention, Dimple looks very pretty also. Though she was a mother of two children in her real life at that time; her beauty, grace and innocent looks in the movie are able to make several unmarried beauties jealous of her.
Bappi Lahiri has composed laudable music for this movie with the meaningful lyrics being penned by Hasan Kamaal. Two songs out of total four, are unforgettable. Kisi Nazar Ko Tera Intezaar Aaj Bhi Hai, sung by Bhupinder and Asha, is one of the best Bollywood Ghazals of all times. However my liking is even more for the Bhupinder-Asha duet – Aawaaz Di Hai Aaj Ek Nazar Ne Ya Hai Ye Dil Ko Gumaan.
All in all, Aitbaar is a breath-stopping thriller which should not be missed by the thriller-fans. Such razor-sharp thrillers are rarely made in Bollywood. Even those who have seen Dial M for Murder or A Perfect Murder will also find it worth their time and money.
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