After the release of the music of JODHAA AKBAR the critics have expressed the view that the music of the film is not able to convey the spirit of the period and hence the music of the film may not become its USP. The moot point here is when was the last time that a historical film had a lilting music and it could also set the box office on fire. As it is in the Hindi film industry rarely does one venture out to make a film by choosing a character from the past and it is always a difficult proposition to arrive at a heady combination of story and music to make the film a hit.
If one were to view from this perspective the music of TAJ MAHAL made by Akbar Khan also did not make a mark nor did the film for that matter. Historical films walk on a razor edge, if it is a popular character of history, people have their own notions about it and if the creative liberty is adapted then it has to face quite a lot of opposition. The example in this context is that of MANGAL PANDEY where the film had a good title song and the film was able to make money, may be the controversy around it also contributed to the same. Two different versions of BHAGAT SINGH were made and both of them were flops but it had got nothing to do with the fact that the music was average; it was the interpretation of the story that was the stumbling block.
One period film whose music still is lilting is UTSAV where Shashi Kapoor used instruments of the period in the film, music composers being Laxmikant Pyarelal, but the film was not a commercial success. RAZIA SULTAN is another example which had a music by Khayyam that tinkles the heart but the film was not that a great success. Now coming on to UMRAO JAAN the older version had a great music, Khayyam being the director and fantastic narrative, while the new version did not have both of them in the same intensity. TAJ MAHAL of the old starring Pradeep Kumar and Bina's music was great, but the film could not stand in competition to MUGHAL-E-AAZAM, which had great story and even greater music.
It always is very easy to compare historical films with the films of the past if they have been made and then comments are made about its quality. The moot point is the listeners' preferences and choices change and the music composer, Rahman, in this case, has to take that into account while giving the music for JODHAA AKBAR. The sheer fact that UTV the producers of the film have decided to go ahead and release the film on their own by-passing the distributors is illustrative of the confidence about the product that they have in their hands. JODHAA AKBAR would not belie the expectations.