Expressing My Angst at Jodha-Akbar

Finally I have some time to pen my thoughts about this movie. πŸ™‚

Prologue
Jodha-Akbar

After hearing too many people going gaga about movie Jodhaa-Akbar, I decided to share my succinct views on Ashutosh Gowarikar‘s this deeply ‘researched’ magnum opus. I promise, I will not get into the controversy of Jodhaa being daughter-in-law or wife. Neither do I care if Jodhaa existed or not. My views are strictly in public interest for the like-minded. πŸ˜›

The movie is a visual delight with some great music. I bet you have heard that before. Well, now you can safely stick to MTV for the songs. As for love story, I will give you some not-to-miss glimpses in case you missed those glorious 3 and half hours of movie. πŸ™‚

Love story?

To begin with, no movie can do justice to eternal love story of Jodhaa and Akbar. Theirs is unquestionably ‘THE love story’. If history is any proof, Akbar loved falling in love with Jodhaa so much that he married 33 more Rajput princesses. That’s what I call reservoir of love. Also, he magnanimously allowed all his Rajput wives to practice their religion. Our movie will enlighten you why. Why else? Our Rajputani Jodha had bravely put few conditions before marriage. Never mind the embarrassing yet the mellifluous sound of bhajans that Shehanshaji heard when addressing judicial matters in his court. Mullahs certainly raised some eyebrows.

So how does Jodhaa-Akbar love grow? Aishwarya aka Jodha takes her Miss World-ly charms to shahi kitchen to prepare an elaborate Rajasthani food. Princess she maybe, but she knows that a way to man’s heart is through his stomach. πŸ™‚ Akbar’s vamp governess, Mahamanga (inspired by Ekta Kapoor’s saas) forces her (an ex-Miss World!) to taste the food just as an ordinary cook to ensure king is not being poisoned. Which Ash does prettily, managing to shout a warning plea to her Shehanshaji that one of the dishes had less salt. πŸ™‚ There you see, also goes first dose of humor in the movie.

There are also a series of political subplots around this love story. And director ensures that we know they are strictly sub plots. The main plot is Ash lustily looking on when her Shehanshaji flexes his bulging muscles. A clinching moment in the love story arrives when the ex-Miss World, dressed-like daku hasina in white, has a sword fight with her Shehanshaji in ekant. (You are mistaken if you think Shuzamal bhaiya taught Jodhaa how to fight with a sword. She learnt it long ago in The Last Legion, if you remember that forgettable Hollywood flick. )

Shehanshaji and Jodha

Hrithik BajrasanAnd Shehanshaji, not only he tames wild elephants, he is good at punishing traitors. He once orders a traiter to be thrown from the roof, but unfortunately for him, traitor does not die. Shehanshaji promptly says, “Bring him up and throw him down again till he dies!” and other times, Shehanshaji does Bajrasan on the court throne. πŸ™‚ Pardon me for the little fun! πŸ˜› But Shehanshaji aka Hrithik was good even if nostrils flared a little. πŸ˜› and Jodha was as good as a wife in Devadas or Guru. Too much wifely experience our bahu has.

Visual Delight

Remember we said that movie is a visual delight. There are scenes in the movie that could be straight from a jewelery advertisement. Tanishq advertisements anyway do not let you forget that if you watch television. πŸ™‚ The clothes that Jodha wore could have come straight from lakhme fashion shows if they were held in that era. πŸ˜‰ Sets are grand in the movie. Its hard for you to miss when princess Jodhaa is shown around Shehanshaji’s palace. I loved clothes and sets, honestly.

Grouse

Only I wish Ashutosh Gowarikar had a good story to narrate. He had a great story in both Lagaan and Swadesh. Without a concrete story, the movie was a drag at various places. It could have been another mythological saga slowing dragging over television. Though out of context, but I must write this here that his Swadesh story was also from his serials. (I am assuming it was his serial.) Longtime back when cable TV had just arrived in India, a serial called Yul love stories used to be telecast on ZEE TV. Mohan Bhargav and Geeta’s love story was one of them. So when I saw Swadesh, I knew where story came from. I don’t know why this bit of info never popped up in media.

Back to Jodha-Akbar, it remains a boy-meets-girl story in a grand royal setting. You can narrate the story in two lines, all that is there to see is the director’s grandeur.

Epilogue

Final word of advice: Watch this movie on DVD. Watch this movie as a tele series with 20 minutes episodes. That way, you can safely watch 20 episodes of grandeur. Tak liya! πŸ˜›

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17 Responses to “Expressing My Angst at Jodha-Akbar”


  1. 1 lallopallo March 18, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    May be I had too much rice in the afternoon today, but are you criticizing the movie here or just trying to be funny here?? I mean even after reading your lengthy review, Iam not sure if you liked the movie or hated it..

  2. 2 Poonam Sharma March 19, 2008 at 3:44 am

    Well, that is not too hard to understand. I thought that movie was a drag without a concrete story. But I honestly admitted its plus-es. Guess, switch to nutritious nuts for lunch. πŸ˜›

  3. 3 Bharath March 19, 2008 at 3:51 am

    >>That’s what I call reservoir of love.

    Nicely written…. Taaaliyaa… uh, no no.. Tak liya :))

  4. 4 praneshachar March 19, 2008 at 5:53 am

    nicely written clearly indicating the drag in the film and good part of it including sets, dress and jewellary. at the end wise advice watch on DVD at ur convinience. good review all points neatly addresed.
    that is what poonam does always !!!!!!!!!!!

  5. 5 dinsan March 19, 2008 at 6:59 am

    man’s heart is through his stomach. πŸ™‚ LOL
    a different kind of review.. hmm can’t figure out which category of critique u r πŸ˜‰ .. anyway, enjoyed reading it..

    I am yet to watch the movie..

  6. 6 vimal March 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Was waiting for your take on JA after leaving such a solid comment on mine !!…Great review !

  7. 7 Poonam Sharma March 20, 2008 at 3:50 am

    @Bharath, praneshachar: Thanks guys, you liked it! πŸ™‚

    @Dinsan: Actually it is a satire reaction to the movie. If you read, then you see it has spoilers. People who have watched the movie should understand that. Such things like ekant and >tak liya. These were royal commands in Rajputana and mughal palace for same thing.

    @vimal: I am a lazy sort of blogger. Took me time to write. My entire take is a satire on the movie. I am still surprised with the intensity with people are gaga over this movie! Find it so hard to believe that people do not care for a good story…

  8. 8 Amit March 24, 2008 at 4:41 am

    I guess you have mixed reactions on watching the movie. In the end you are left with the feeling that its great but it could have been much better. πŸ™‚

  9. 9 Poonam Sharma March 24, 2008 at 5:00 am

    @Amit: You are right! Though except for visual brilliance and Hrithik’s performance I had nothing good to say bout movie. Actually there is no story. I do not even believe in this love story for the sheer fact that Akbar had so many wives. 100 plus. He married 33 Rajput princesses after Jodha! What kind of love is that 😦

  10. 11 Ruchika March 28, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Hey There!

    However interesting your review of JA was, I have to say, I found HR a misfit. I think a person who commanded more respect, awe, and admiration should have played the part. In the yester years I can very well say Big B or Naseeruddin Shah were good choices and in today’s world some one intense like Aamir in Sarfarosh.

    Ofcourse the same holds true for AR, she was a waste I should say, and not a mis fit. She has more talent than just charming a king, who is more than just willing to fall in for her. Must say, nothing Special about her presence….

    About the story, agreed not just a little bit of a drag…. too long, after having watched it I told my friends it is OK but too long almost 4 and something hrs long!!! The movie in reality is only 3.5 hrs long.

    And yes, the love story, nothing so great about it, should have been something more to it. All those happenings like HR flexing muscles, AR practicing sword fight, Hindu princess’ bhajans and food, seem too out of the place. Far from reality. A king would have designated spots away from the queen’s palace to practice and punish traitors and to talk about serious matters with his traitor bro and ‘Mahamanga’…

    Come on now, we all know it and believe it…. kings are nothing but royal…. The long winded story of JA’s eternal love seems to have been rendered commom place by such commonalities like the king eating in the used plate, and the queen, roaming around just anywhere in the palace.

    Hightime Ashutosh G… You go back to the times of Salim and Anarkali’s kahani on cinema and watch it atleast once….

    But yes, I did like one songe kehen ko jashne baharein etc… and the sets were royal and the costumes and the jwellery was definitely a treat to my pardes sore eyes…. I want my Des…. so I enjoid all tht!! πŸ™‚ And yes ofcourse for now… Aikanth and not Takliyah…. πŸ˜€

  11. 12 meethi March 28, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Appreciating u r effort on public interest on like minded, good to know about furnished historical facts. good word. Nice narration too.

  12. 13 Poonam Sharma April 2, 2008 at 5:11 am

    @Ruchika: Thanks for commenting your frank views here! I am glad you wrote it. You are entitled to your opinion about the actors. In fact, I have read many varied ideas on different blogs.

    Howver for me, Aishwarya is beautiful but a very bad actress or with the kind of opportunities she has so far got she would have been a legend. She was just ok in movie. What saved her pretty face draped in transparent dupattas.

    As for Hrithik I though he did act well though he looked more like Hrithik and sometimes not Akbar. πŸ™‚ But I agree with every word you said about the story. Some things were quite far from reality. For example, I doubt Jodhaa ever came to battlefield.

    Hey, you keep commenting. It brings happiness. πŸ™‚

    @Meethi: Thanks meethi, glad you liked it. Keep visiting. πŸ™‚

  13. 14 Ava March 14, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Ha Ha.. very funny. I too enjoyed the opulence on display here, and the beautiful protoganists of the movie. I just didnt tax my brains worrying about the ‘authenticity’. In any case, who can really tell what happened.

    Yeah, authenticity should hardly been an issue. My grouse was that it was a chiched love story only setting was opulent and characters were royal. And it was too long while I watched in theater.

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