Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jodhaa Akbar


Rating : 7/10
Running Time : 213 mts
Release Date : 15th Feb ‘08
Director : Ashutosh Gowariker ; Writer : Haider Ali ; Music : A R Rahman
Starring : Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Ila Arun, Suhasini Mulay, Sonu Sood and Punam Sinha.


Viewers of this film will be forced to make a choice.

They will either choose to be swept away by the wonderful visual imagery of this period drama, the awesome scale of it all, the undeniable charisma of the two leading stars, the very solid performances of all the character actors. They can soak in the authenticity, the clothes, the jewellery and the elaborate sets, and even the formal language, the relaxed pace and the overall ambience.

Or they can choose to focus on the lack of a powerful, stirring storyline (a la Lagaan), they can focus on the length and the fact that its more a series of sub plots which comprise the film without a truly unifying plot, they can complain about the lack of a great climax or the fact that there are periods during the film when you can look around the hall and wonder what everyone else is thinking. They can complain even about the formal language, the relaxed pace and the overall ambience.

I think it totally depends on your perspective, the mood you go in with, the degree of the expectations etc. As for me, as my rating suggests, I'm more in the former camp than the latter (I was actually at sixes and sevens between giving it a 6 or 7 and then decided to be generous). I enjoyed the way the it does wrap you up in its atmosphere and transport you into another era. I also acutely felt the lack of a great ending / a single focal point in the film and was disappointed that Ashutosh was not able to bring it all together like the cricket match in his earlier film.

The movie is about a Muslim prince entering into a alliance with a unwilling Rajput princess due to political expediency and then charting how their relationship develops, the court intrigues, the foibles of that era etc. The clear highlights were the performances of the leading pair, both easily fitting into that era, changing their walk, language and mannerisms to suit their characters. If you want to see how not to do it, you can observe Abhishek in the remake of Umrao Jaan, where he seemed to mouth the dialogue without believing in the lines or their meaning and his walk still retained the jauntiness of the twenty-first century rather than the stateliness of another era.

The other notable features were the sequence involving Hrithik practising sword-fighting in front of Aishwarya's room (made interesting when he realises she's watching), the fight with the elephant and two magnificient songs, one 'Khwaja mere Khwaja' because of its simplicity and spiritual picturisation and the other, 'Azeem-o-shaan Shahenshah' because of its scale, choreography and grandeur.


In this film when you walk out, you do it with no great emotional change or no provacative thoughts mulling around your head. So in that respect it is a 'time-pass' film. However, it is a beautiful experience, enjoyable for those who relish this kind of thing and its made all the more magical by the presence of Hrithik and Aishwarya, who, according to me, continue to be the best looking screen couple in the world.

5 comments:

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Karan said...

Fantastic movie....very well made and the actors were amazing!!! Loved it

Anonymous said...

The long wait for the movie was worth it! It was Hrithik's movie .. He was perfect, even for a min i did not feel that i was watching Hrithik the star .. Ash looks very beautiful and guess this was one of her best performances.AR rahman is simply superb!! A classic master piece and a must watch is my opinion.. Cheers, Bee

Spectator said...

this is total bullcrap movie... a directionless story... why the hell ppl dont talk bout his other begums !!! they were forced to put together...!!!

Prakash Dharwad said...

Hi Apurv,
This is Prakash Dharwad,
I saw this movie because people were talking a lot about the same. To enjoy this movie, one should have interest of watching the non-commercial movies and then only you will be able to enjoy more than what u expect. In my openion, both the actors were superb in their respective roles. the story is THODA HATKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!