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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Review - Jodha Akbar - Grandiose



Rating: 7.5 / 10

Azzemo Shaan shehensha - marhabbah - ! If you watch this song on the big screen you would realize the power of the song, the picturization and the grand scale of this magnum opus. Yes, Jodha Akbar has made me stop and think on my presumptions about Indian cinema's ineptitude in making films of epic proportions and that all period films in India are hardly 5% of the hype they create. And I realize that Ashutosh Gowariker has proved me wrong on both counts.

Jodha Akbar may have got some of its vital historic details wrong, or probably it is still debatable, but if you see it just as a work of fiction, it turns out to be one heck of a story. One with courage, valor, style, deceit, hatred and most importantly love.

The movie starts on a grand scale - with battle sequences, which are well choreographed. I admit that we are way behind the Hollywood counterparts in filming battle sequences, but this one does not compromise on the scale - even though it does not live up to the graphic detailing. But that’s a weakness of the technical prowess and not of the vision. From here it moves to the young Akbar's coming of age, his marriage of alliance with Jodha, his pain, his patience, his innumerable attempts to voo Jodha and the eventual victory. In between there are attempts on his lives from his enemies, from his relatives. There are devious plans of sabotaging his marriage with a Hindu princess and attempts of double-crossing him off his throne. It shows not only his victory over Jodha’s heart but over the hearts of his “Praja”- his kingdom.

The cast is more than competent, with the protagonists – Hrithik and Aishwaria grabbing the top honors. Aishwaria plays her part with grace but Hrithik is the heart and soul of this movie. Not only does he look spectacular, but he goes into the skin of the character. Well, I agree that he looks more like a Greek God than a Mughal Emperor, but what’s wrong in making your reel character attractive?

Technically the movie is excellent – from the choreography of the battle sequences to the songs. And the music by A.R.REHMAN has to be experienced in the theaters to realize the amazing impact music can have. Azeemo shaan shehensha simply blows you away.

I am extremely happy that Ashutosh Gowariker has made no compromises with the length and I personally didn’t think it needs any cuts. Even the pupil-battles between the newly wed couple is worth the 100+ bucks you would pay for the movie. Some scenes have pure electricity flowing between the lead characters.

This movie would probably not work for people who are looking for quick entertainment and loads of action , because this movie does not compromise on its vision, its story. It treads along tedious paths to get across to you its intent. Mind you - the sword fights, the elephant taming, the battle sequences do whet your appetite for more, but those are just peripherals, at the core lies the love story. Apart from a few clich├ęs here and there, Gowarikar once again proves that he has the vision and the will to make grand films without compromises. First Lagaan, then Swades and now Jodha Akbar! Hats off. Oscar pitch anyone?

1 comment:

Nirmal Simon said...

I personally love the Khwaja number. Found its lyrics on freehindilyrics.com and think the song is very well written. A R Rehman has done full justice to Jodhaa Akbar’s songs

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