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Producer cum Director Akbar Khan has crossed the line of a 50 crore Budget for his film 'Taj Mahal'. Taj Mahal is a larger than life film, with an even larger budget. Having spent 100 crores on the film, Akbar Khan has put behind all controversies surrounding the film. Of late, this film that is yet to be released has been in the limelight for several reasons. First, there was the controversy surrounding the film. Supposedly, hundreds of copies of Robin Khosla's Taj Mahal were made. But the vcd and dvd covers carried the pictures of Akbar Khan's Taj Mahal. Maybe it was intentional so that the film could sell, that had otherwise flopped on the opening day itself. A 100 crore film, it also has a large star cast that has model "Zulfikar Sayed" and the legendary Noor Jahan's grand daughter, Sonia Rizv, who also makes her debut in this film. They will be seen along with the charismatic Kabir Bedi, the innocent looking Manisha Koirala, The sexy Kim Sharma and the sultry Pooja Batra.
Depicting the life of Emperor Shah Jahan and his lady love Mumtaz Mahal, Akbar Khan's'Taj Mahal" seems to pay tribute to the greatest lovers in Indian history. (The desi version to Romeo and Juliet). When emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal, little did he know that this beautiful piece of architecture would become one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Taj Mahal is the poignant love story of Shahjahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. There have been numerous tales that talk of this famous era that history has never forgotten. But Akbar Khan tells it differently. Love must be accompanied with pain and tragedy. Great heights are followed by a great fall. Caught in the web of love, emotions, tragedy, jealousy and envy, people end up doing the worst things imaginable. The story revolves around Prince Khurram Shah Jahan, the oldest son to Emperor Jahangir who ruled from1627 to 1658. Zulfikar plays the role of Shah Jahan.. It was love at first sight for Shah Jahan who met Mumtaz at the tender age of 15. Marriage followed 5 years later. Playing the character of Mumtaz is Sonia Rizvi. A happy life soon followed for 19 years. But she died giving birth to his 14th child. Her death had a devastating effect on him. His hair and beard grow white within a few months.
And herein steps Kabir Bedi. Kabir Bedi as the older Shah Jahan is worth a watch. Mourning her death for two years, Shah Jahan started the construction of the 'Taj Mahal' in 1631. His weakened state of mind let to his downfall. His dependency on his sons to govern the thrones increased. As a result, the sons were empowered with large armies and independent sources of revenue. This led to wars, bloodshed and tragedy. The siblings destroyed each other. They went to the extent of rebelling against their own father. But it was Aurangzeb who killed his elder brother and imprisoned his father. His aim was accession of the throne. Arbaaz Ali as Jahangir is a just leader and was considerate of his son's feelings for Arjumand (Mumtaz). His wife Noor Jahan, played by Pooja Batra was ambitious and treated everyone as if they were her personal property. Noor Jahan's daughter form her first marriage to Sher Afgan is played by Kim Sharma. She is Ladli Begum who is ambitious to succeed as the empress of India. She cannot make up her mind between Prince Khurram and Prince Shahryar.
Manisha Koirala plays the role of Jahanara who loved all her siblings. She proved to be a pillar of strength when her father's spirit had died. She nursed him in his last years on earth. Arbaaz Khan as Aurangzeb is not surprising. He suits the villain's role perfectly. In an excerpt form an interview, Zulfikar Ali claims" I play Shah Jahan in the film, with the role of Mumtaz being essayed by Sonia Rizvi, the granddaughter of singer-cum-actress of yesteryear Noorjahan. That is another film that I am really looking forward to. It is a big budgeted film and has been crafted very well". The film is co-produced by Irshad Hameed Alam. Veteran music director Naushad has composed the music. A large-scale film, about a poignant love story, needs to have Lyrical songs. Naqsh Lyallpuri and Sayed Gulrez have composed the lyrics. We can only wait and watch if the 100 crores spent on the film, were worth spending. Maybe the audience of today will relate to history that was created hundreds of years ago.