Echoos me Mr.Gowariker, time please?March 12, 2008
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!