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Movie Review : Jodhaa Akbar
Director : Music : Lyrics : Starring :
A R Rahman
Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Sonu Sood, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Suhasini Mulay, Raza Murad & Punam Sinha.
By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network
The timing of Ashutosh Gowariker’s Magnum Opus could not have been better. A love story set in the 16th century between the Mughal Emperor who ruled Hindustan (now India), Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar, and a fiery young Rajput princess, Jodhaa. With love as the backdrop, and highlighting the Hindu-Muslim marriage of alliance culminating in love and respect for one another, a day after Valentine’s Day was an apt moment for its release. Moreover, with hate politics being on the agenda, the timing of its release could not have been better. JODHAA AKBAR surely comes as a soothing balm to every Indian. If watched closely, it sends a message loud and clear that country is above everything else, even self! For our warring politicians, for this message alone, this movie is worth many trips to the multiplex.
Viewed as a love story, it portrays beautifully, the defiance of Jodhaa, the Rajput girl who is asked to marry Akbar, a Muslim Emperor. Not one to bow down or suppress her voice, Jodhaa expresses two strong wishes to the Emperor. Only if he agrees will she marry him. The first being he will not force her to change her religion and the second; he will give her a place in his palace to have a temple of her own. Both wishes are granted!
Then comes the tough task of the Emperor trying to get close to Jodhaa. Slowly, she teaches him that winning battles is not everything... he learns to win her heart as well. For lovers, this is a beautiful rendition of a perfect love story.
Ashustosh Gowariker has outdone himself. This movie is a masterpiece, a complete interpretation of what the director has visualized. From costumes, to body language, to background score, to the songs, sets, manpower and lighting... Gowariker has everything spot-on. Cinematographer Kiran Deohans captures through his wide lens the glory of the Moghul Era recreated by Nitin Desai. A R Rahman uses the beat of huge drums to transport you to another era. Pure, acoustic delight. Ravi Dewan recreates the fights that have you on the edge of your seats, while Raju Khan, Rekha Chinni Prakash and Ash Kumar combine to give you some breathtaking dances to do justice to the costumes of Neeta Lulla. The choreography of the tracks Khwaja Mere Khwaja and Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah leave you awestruck.
Now, for the performances. The perfectionist that he is, Gowariker has taken pains to pick his entire cast and each one blends with the other to transport you back to an era gone by. Even the extras have been carefully picked.
Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachahan in the lead role, contrary to beliefs, have come out looking super cool. Both actors complement each other, and both have been given the space to build their characters. I would rate this as Aishwarya’s best performance to date. This is credit to a good director who knows how to extract a performance from his actor. As for Hrithik, he soaks in the moment and one can see him completely surrender himself to Gowariker. He has worked hard on his body language and dialogue delivery. He portrays well the qualities of Akbar. He may not be the perfect Akbar, but he does enough to relive the role of the Emperor; that of a gentle and tolerant ruler with a love for his subjects who even put his life on the line to save his country. His dialogue towards the end where he subjects himself to the might of Sharifuddin Hussain for a sword fight, 'Hum Hindustan ko galat haaton mein jaate nahin dekh sakta', draws a huge applause.
Considering the intricacies of the subject, I guess the three-hour plus length of the movie could not have been avoided.
TO GO OR NOT: Oh yes, politicians and lovers and all those interested in good cinema, a must watch. JODHAA AKBAR is sure to bag a host of awards at next year’s ceremonies.