Providing a window to the effervescent and rich tradition of culture of a country can best be done by the medium of cinema, as it is the walking and talking exposition of the vibrancy that a country has. China has been able to do this through multitude of films being made on a large scale by turning out one leaf of history or the other and using the grandeur of cinema to tell the world about the mystique called China. It was done by four films, which told the world what China was all about and the films that achieved the same include CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, HOUSEOF FLYING DRAGONS, HERO and THE PROMISE. These four films became epochal, as they were able to attain a synergy by choosing the aesthetics of Hollywood and combining it with Chinese culture, tradition and heritage.
For India also this epochal moment seems to have arrived with the release of JODHAA AKBAR. It is the sheer grandeur of the film and the choice of the subject that provides the confidence that the film would be able to make a definite mark at the international level. This would also pave the way for more historical films emanating from the drawing board of the Hindi film industry to tell to the world the richness of culture that India possess.
The portents are auspicious as UTV, which is the producer of the film, has as its CEO Ronnie Screwvala who has already been featured on the cover of the Newsweek as being one of the stars from the sub-continent who would be going to change the course of world cinema. JODHAA AKBAR may just do the same.
The confidence arises from the grandeur of the scale on which the film has been mounted. It has one of the most recognizable faces at the international level in the form of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan.
It is the sheer grandeur of the historical films, which make them a hit among the audience, as the grandeur is able to hark back the audience to the memories of the past. It has been done successfully in various Hollywood films, and has rekindled the interest in history after the films were received. The most recent example is that of THE GLADIATOR. Number of Shakespearean plays could become successful and get new converts only on account of various screen adaptations from time to time. In India also the same interest in Bhagat Singh was evinced after two films in succession based on the life of Bhagat Singh were released.
Another positive feature in case of JODHAA AKBAR is about the choice of character which is one of the least controversial characters in the history and which has had fan following across all generations, caste and creed. Being a popular character, there is very miniscule chance of it being associated with any controversy.
It is owing to the way JODHAA AKBAR has shaped up that more and more filmmakers in India are turning their focus to history to pick out characters and give them a new lease of life through celluloid drama.