Sunday, 17 February, 2008


Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodha-Akbar has disappointed me to a greater extent. May be I was expecting a master-piece, which I thought would compete with the unanimous epic Mughal-E-Azam. When compared with his own two films, Swades and Lagaan, this multi-million venture has proved to be a failure.
To me, it seemed an ordinary (love) story and the wrongly depicted history in the movie says that, it is miles away from the truth or literature what we had had studied earlier. If we get into the details, it showcases Akbar who wants to flourish his kingdom in India through waging wars since his childhood under the guidance of Bhairamkhan. When Akbar approaches king Bharmal to accept his emperorship, king Bharmal asks Akbar to marry his daughter. Why he did so is not explained any where. Though, it was showcased as a political marriage, still there was absolutely no necessity to get his daughter married with a Mughal Emperor, particularly, in those days when casteism, religionalism etc., were given vital importance. And thus, princess Jodha of Rajputanas gets married with a Mughal Emperor for no proper reason.
Jodha’s brother Sujamal’s story has also had been depicted wrongly. Somewhere, in my school in Hindi text books, I had read about Bhaidhooj, where it was said that Jodha ties Sujamal a Rakhi to save Akbar from Shaifuddin. In a war with Shaifuddin, Sujamal dies was written in the literature. But, in this movie what was shown is absolutely against Rajput’s bravery and sacrifices. Therefore, in Rajasthan, there is no harm to impose a ban on this film. To my belief it definitely might have had hurt their self-respect and sacrifices for the country as it has showcased the Rajput kings to be fit for nothing.
Akbar in the climax scene says that every religion is equally important to him. If Akbar really wanted to follow what he said, why he started a religion of his own, “Din-I-llahi” is also quite questionable. It’s a pity that personalities like Birbal, Taansen were not discussed in the movie at least for once.
What are worth seeing in this movie are the jewellery that princess Jodha wears and her costumes. And above all, especially the well-picturized songs, viz., Sufi song khwaja mere khwaja (an excellent number), Azeem-o-shaano shehanshaa, Kehne ko jashne bahaara hai etc., Marhaba song reminds us of Republic Day parade. The palaces where the picturization took place were already seen in many-a-movies as it covered a very minor part of their portrayal. Except the above things which covered more than half part of the movie, everything is as per records that, Akbar though an illiterate was a great administrator who loved elephant fights, followed Sufism and was a great believer of Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz Chisti of Ajmer etc.,
Singer Ila Arun has done an excellent job in the movie, and did complete justice to her role Mahamanga. Hritik was too good in his performances as usual and Aishwarya was as beautiful as ever. Shatrugan Sinha’s wife who played mother of Akbar looked glamorous and Sonu Sood looked a bit older in his role Sujamal. As usual, Suhasini Mulay, Kulbhushan Karbaanda, appear in this movie as Rani and Raja Bharmal of Amer. Raza Murad played Vazir, and the Diwan Todarmal’s character was also well established. Shaifuddin’s character played by a new artiste won a huge round of applause. Director had tried his best to make it look like a Hollywood movie which wins hearty appraisal.
But, lack of research on the subject made this film lose its richness though money was lavishly expended on creating it. The history he depicted is quite misguiding and confusing as I said. Most of all, portraying Jodha-Akbar is just sheer waste of time, money and resources. May be as a source of integrity it serves preaching inter-religion relationships, but, Akbar to my belief, had never loved Jodha to the extent which was shown in the movie. If Akbar had truly loved his wife Jodha, I suspect he too would have had built a Tajmahal for her, after all, he was the richest emperor then. It was just a political marriage and no where in the history we find their relationship as great as any others and also about their love. But, why Ashutosh has chosen this subject is quite surprising.
This film has its own grandeur and freshness and above all it’s recommendable to watch. Anyways, watch it at your own interests and if you are seeking a change viz., commercial movies to art kind of movies then it is quite promising and a refresher.

Thanks and Regards,

Srikanth Chintakindi.


Anonymous said...

The religion he started was apparently a composite of a number of religions which was meant to be all-embracing to show his respect for other religions in order to foster peaceful relations between different groups to create a united India.

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