ReviewWriter: JanakWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Mughal-E-Azam", "Zubeida", "Ashoka", "Troy"
Ever heard of the great Moghul emperor Akbar? Browse through any history books on India and you'll know that Akbar was one of India's greatest emperors who ruled in the sixteenth century.
Emperor Akbar was known as one of the greatest conquerors. After conquering Afghanistan and the Bay of Bengal, he wanted to further his hold to the Himalayas and the Godavari River. He wants to expand the Moghul Empire by conquering every territory of Hindustan (now known as India). King Bharmal of Rajput (Kulbhushan Karbanda) realises that the only way to form an allegiance is by making a diplomatic move to Akbar - with the offer of his daughter, Jodhaa, to Akbar in marriage. Akbar's biggest challenge now is not only winning battles, but in winning the love of Jodhaa - a love hidden deep beneath resentment and extreme prejudice.
A Muslim emperor's arranged marriage to a Hindu Rajput princess - this is the story of Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbar (Hrithik Roshan) and his fiery Rajput wife named Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai Bachan).
Whilst Akbar is trying to woo his wife, there's also a hidden plot to kill the emperor as well, and the ones behind this are in Akbar's bloodline. Will Akbar succeed in the conquest for Jodhaa's love? Will the culprits succeed in killing Akbar? Watch this breathtaking movie to find out.
There are only a handful of Indian directors who make quality movies and one of them is none other than Ashutosh Gowariker, the director of Oscar nominated "Lagaan" (2001) as well as the critically acclaimed "Swades" (2004).
This time, he ventures into something that he has never done before; the historical love story of Jodhaa and Akbar. It is not often that we get to watch a Bollywood movie that is executed so beautifully on the celluloid. Ashutosh has achieved this by all means.
To begin with, the director had hired an all-Indian team of historians and scholars from New Delhi, Aligarh, Lucknow, Agra and Jaipur to guide him on this film and to help him keep things historically accurate. He clarified that the name of the film remains "Jodhaa-Akbar", and not "Akbar-Jodhaa" as reported by some sections of the media.
Another interesting fact was that over 80 elephants, 100 horses and 55 camels were used in the movie. The song "Azeem O Shan, Shahenshah" featured about one thousand dancers in traditional costumes, wielding swords and shields at a grand location in Karjat.
"Jodhaa Akbar" is a truly exceptional movie. The two things that got me really glued to my seat for 3 and a half hours were the language used and the songs in this film. The language and dialogue used is very 'simplified'. Akbar speaks in Urdu while Jodhaa speaks in Hindi, and is unlike some historical films where the language/dialogue is very difficult to understand and comprehend. Here, even with Akbar speaking in Urdu, one can easily comprehend what he is trying to convey across to the audience. The dialogue by K.P. Saxena is simply amazing.
With the leading cast of Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachan, Ashutosh could never go wrong. The role of Akbar was fantastically conveyed by Hrithik in all aspects. After watching him in this role, one can never think or imagine of another actor carrying the title role of Akbar. It is without doubt that Hrithik is the right actor to portray Akbar. As for Aishwarya, two thumbs up for her as Jodhaa as lately, her acting in her recent movies were not anything spectacular. Here, she executed the role of Jodhaa beautifully.
As for the rest of the cast, everyone did a wonderful job in their respective roles. Plot wise, Ashutosh narrated with a class of its own. It will keep you going and wanting for more till the very end. The effects by Ravi Dewan were incredible. From the war sequence at the start of the film to the climatic fighting scene which reminds me of the fight between Brad Pitt and Eric Bana in "Troy", the movement of the camera angles was truly astonishing. Another amazing moment was Akbar taming a wild elephant. In all, the cinematography is the one that will capture your attention - what a feast for the eyes. Nitin Chandrakant Desai, the cinematographer, has given his utter best. Most of the backdrop scenes were simply awesome.
Not to be forgotten are the songs in this film. This is the second thing that kept me going and wanting for more. Music director A.R Rahman has done it again. This music maestro is the man behind Rangeela (1995), Dil Se (1998), Lagaan (2001) and in 2004, he was approached to recreate the background songs for the most anticipated "The Lord of the Rings" theatrical version in London. In "Jodhaa Akbar", the songs 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' is simply superb, while the execution of 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja' is mind blowing. A.R Rahman's background score is simply by far, I would say, the best.
In addition to this, there are some morals to be learnt from this movie as well. The character of Akbar indeed could be a role model for the people and rulers of today. Not only did he have a secular vision, but also a will to know what the common man wants, as well as being kind-hearted and noble to his people.
Controversy is bound to happen after all. The movie was not released in Rajasthan during the opening week. Before the release, a group of researchers from Rajasthan was very much against the character and story of Jodhaa in this movie, for they say is not historically correct. In truth, Akbar's wife was never known as Jodhabai. The use of the name Jodhabai appears to have been a 19th century mistake. Her real name was Hira-Kunwari before marriage and after marriage, she was known as Mariam-uz-Zamani. Despite all this, Ashutosh remains clear that the movie is about the true love story of Jodhaa and Akbar, and not what happened thereafter.
Reiterating, "Jodhaa Akbar" is truly an exceptionally film in a class of its own - from its costumes, cast, the detailed cinematography - everything is captured wonderfully on screen. I dare say that this is one of the best period Bollywood film ever produced. Summarised in only two words to describe this entire movie in all aspects; magnificent and brilliant.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008