Echoos me Mr.Gowariker, time please?

Disclaimer : The author is a patron of Masala movies, prefers an impossible-but-happy-ending to a logical-but-real-and-making-sense one anyd...

Disclaimer: The author is a patron of Masala movies, prefers an impossible-but-happy-ending to a logical-but-real-and-making-sense one anyday. For her, a movie is nothing but having a good time, eating popcorn and throwing some at the aunty in the front row. She's also a die hard thalaivar fan.


Almost everyone I know have watched Jodha Akbar, and gave me different reviews but I still didn't get enough enthusiasm to actually go for the movie. However, things changed some days back when I heard this particular dialogue at the bus stop -
'Dei maame, sodha akkubar paathiya da?'
(Excuse me good friend, would you have by any chance, watched this movie by the name 'Jodhaa Akbar'?)
'Sodha akbar a? illiye, nee eppo da telungu padam laam paakarambicha? Saetu figure-a madakriya?'
(Jodha Akbar? I'm afraid not old chap, I say, you have been appreciating movies of other languages, jolly good! You are truly a man of culture!)

That conversation sparked interest to finally go and watch the movie.
Jodha Akbar is a movie of epic proportions, and this extends to the length of the movie. The movie is about, well I'm not really sure. But mostly about the life of Young Akbar, his marriage with the Rajput princess Jodha.
The movie is brilliant, visually. The costumes, the sets and most importantly, the lead cast of Hrithik and Aishwarya represent human perfection.
The music was one of the major highlights of the movie as well, Rahman does not disappoint.
But that's all there is, like one of those swarovski ducks. Absurdly expensive, extremely pretty to look at, but hey we can look at ducks only for a certain amount of time, no matter how much they cost. The movie goes on and on, only to finish abruptly.
There are a lot of things about Akbar that the director has tried to tell us in this movie - his religious tolerance (scrapping the hindu taxes, letting jodha follow her own religion), his principles of justice, his devotion (there's a scene where he joins a group of sufi singers in a trance), and particularly his constant confusion, not only about the perfect administration of his country (trying to figure out what the 'aam aadmi' want) but also keeping his high-maintenance princess happy. The only thing more perplexed than the king's mind would be the movie itself. It starts out as a historical romance, becomes a documentary, then a bollywood sentiment saga, tamil megaserial (kitchen politics?! come on!) and then becomes a romance once again. The process keeps repeating, and after a very long time, the movie ends, and you're still left wondering -
i) What the hell was that about?
ii)Ouch my back hurts!
Apart from the length, the narrative was extremely annoying, it left no room for imagination, very preachy. There's the whole 'religious equality' concept that's stressed on throughout the movie and it gets overbearing after some time, making it groan-worthy.
Ashutosh Gowariker seems to have chopped a lot of Akbar's other personality traits, the grey ones (apparently Akbar had a very active sex drive) to give us an image of a pretty perfect emperor. There are plenty of holes in the plot (
Jodhaa’s mother had come with a plan for her to escape from the wedding. Why was she then also ready with poison? Did she not believe in her plan? Was she so desperate? If so, how come she had no major role to play in her daughter’s life later? also, why was the assassinator waiting to be spotted by Akbar’s men?) and taking care of them would have made Jodha Akbar the movie it aspired to be.

To cut a long story short (if only we could try that on this movie), Jodha Akbar is a glossy magnum opus on the outside but a bollywood movie on the inside. Watch if you must. Or wait for the DVD, that way you'll have fast forward power!


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13 comments

  1. Somebody just threw chutney on Gowariker’s face :p I agree with you. There are less painful ways of wasting 4 hours of your life.

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  2. :) I loved the guys at the bus stop. Next time you should maybe tell them to see "setu ponnu" they could see Tamil films itself.

    -Ok

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  3. i can never get myself to go pick up a DVD. i feel it simply worthless to watch a movie at home, on a small tv or comp.

    about akbar and what is said and what idn't - i think it has a lot to do with how we have been brougth up, specially the education system.

    history is generally taught as 'the happenings of the past'. if we could sensitise children about the fact that history is 'somebody's record of what happened in the past', then that'l make it a lot mroe subjective, and hence we'll have people can rationalise and make choices for themselves.

    you fun loving-ness makes you quite adorable :)

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  4. hmm, wanna watch this flick. more so cause i heard hrithik's lookin hot! ;) :D hehe, been postponin it after knwin bout the movie length :|

    3 hours, jesus christ.

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  5. "The movie is about,... princess Jodha." well, it sums up teh review pretty well. couldnt manage but laugh whn i read it.

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  6. @ron
    lol @ the chutney line. Yea the movie is painfully long.

    @Ok
    yea, i'll pass the message ;)

    @Dharmabum
    Couldn't agree with you more, I guess we've all grown up with the whole 'Akbar the wise and just' image. It's just that our textbooks are extremely subjective and makes us prejudiced towards one view, in this case, that of Akbar's personality.

    And about the whole adorable thing, thanks :).
    If only I had a buck every time someone told me that.....:)

    @Busywriter
    Thats why i recommend the DVD. Hrithik is hot, waay hot. :D

    @Xh
    The line has served its purpose. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  7. same same here. no urge to watch the movie. still not done it. and give literal translations!! you can't cheat people like this..romba over :P

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  8. its an evitable fate for most historical movies..its difficult to balance so many things on one plate and i guess indians are very critical and i havent seen the movie as yet....

    nice blog

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  9. I wish they could have made Akbar the portly, middle-aged plug-ugly he resembles in his miniatures. I wouldn't have to toil away in a sweaty gym to acquire muscles a la Hritik, who has greatly impressed the missus. It's an impossible task anyway, what with the reluctance displayed by the gym equipment to respond to my commands.

    Ah, Gowariker, thou knowest not what thou hast done.

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  10. @gradwolf
    Lol, it's kind of hard to translate wisdom like that.

    @Gazal
    thanks!

    @Narendra
    LOL Yea, apparently Akbar was a real duck , with moles and warts. Come to think about it, they should have made Jodha ugly too. Given her a nice paunch, a mustache maybe.
    That way, the movie would have been more enjoyable.

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  11. Hahaha, my review is almost same... its a typical bollywood masala movie

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  12. Hahahaha, it makes me feel like an idiot now. I love Masala movies (they're good dissing material) and I can't wait for the exams to get over. Thengyuberymuch for the DVD suggestion. It makes more sense that way.
    And does Hritik really suit the Akbar rule with his six-pack and all? I've always pictured Akbar as this podgy guy with a white handlebar moustache and a belly large enough to precede him by a couple of metres when he entered his hall. *Sigh* Trust Bollywood to smash your imaginary ducks, Swarovski or otherwise.

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  13. No comments on movie as I havent watched it. Being a confirmed Hrithik fan ,U'd have customarily booked tickets for the first day first show...aana Ash lam moonu maNI neram paakarthiku interest um laedhu, shakthi um laedhu.

    Review enlightening though. Laughed out loud reading the 'ouch my back hurts' line.

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