Finally I have some time to pen my thoughts about this movie. 🙂
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. 😛
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. 🙂
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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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
And 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. 🙂 Pardon me for the little fun! 😛 But Shehanshaji aka Hrithik was good even if nostrils flared a little. 😛 and Jodha was as good as a wife in Devadas or Guru. Too much wifely experience our bahu has.
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. 🙂 The clothes that Jodha wore could have come straight from lakhme fashion shows if they were held in that era. 😉 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.
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.
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! 😛