Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jodhaa Akbar

Powered by: Jodhaa Akbar
There is one common factor among all the movies made with history in their background. They start with a hype of possessing the ability to depict history in a brutally royal and real manner. Midway, makers start claiming that the movie is more of narrating a never told love saga than being a boring history documentary. Once the movie hits the BO, makers turn defensive saying that it’s just a piece of fiction which is a mix of their fertile imagination and art of movie making.

Same seems to have happened to the fate of Jodhaa Akbar. Ashutosh Govatrikar who dreamt to create history by telling it, looks like following the bollywood history where most promising directors fall flat once they try something more grand than they can digest.

The movie starts with Amitabh Bacchan narrating India’s history in the same words which have so often been used as if the description is also patented. To start off, the movie impresses with wonderful use of SFX as Hemu’s and Akbar’s armies get ready to battle in Panipat. Although the armies seem to be standing so far apart that half of it would have been dead even before reaching the enemies. I agree that Hemu lost the battle and had just “show his face” role in the movie but still was a much bigger and better character in the history hence Govatrikar shouldn’t have hired a Rs. 100/- per day extra to play his role.

As the movie goes forward, the Hritik’s misfit with the image of Akbar becomes more and more profound. Every time he walks as the Shenshah, looks like he is still in the hangover of Dhoom-2 and might shout, “Hey!! Are you like…checking me out?” Although, being a good actor, he has tried his best but some how the Urdu words spoken by him sound like a Mallu telling you that he knows a bit of Hindi, “Haan, todaa todaa aatha hai”.

Movie keeps shifting focus from showcasing the emperor and his magnanimity to his love interest to typical saas-bahu drama between Aishwarya Rai and Ila Arun, which turns out to be most eventful part of the movie. Fifteen years after loosing nigodi kaisi jawani, Ila Arun has shown that even her budhaapa is as productive by reflecting the images of most notorious saas of all time Lalita Pawar in her acting.

Once saas-bahu drama is over, you expect the movie to be over soon with a boringly romantic song which starts with Jodhaa-Akbar separated by a see through curtain which was worth enough to buy the copyright of song “Parda nasheen ko be parda na kar doon to Akbar mera naam nahi” and play it. Govatrikar has done a good job to keep their lips at safe distance to avoid marital turbulence somewhere in Juhu. I have always admired the archeological expertise of Bollywood film makers to unearth the most unheard off love sagas. They started with Salim-Anarkali and continued it to Alexender. Rajkumar Santoshi not only discovered the love interest of Bhagat Singh but also elaborated in his production in year 2002-03 which was Bollywood’s Bhagat Singh year with as much as five movies made on the legend. Ketan Shah went a step ahead and did it for Mangal Pandey who doesn’t have much of mention in history books. But again, all of them were “Fiction Movies” not documentaries made on history.

As soon as I though the movie is going to end with the song saying “They did it and gave a good enough reason to K Asif to make Mughal-e-Aazam”, Govatrikar proved to be a true son of bollywood and an ardent torch bearer of its traditions. No Bollywood movie can end without a villain being punished. And he is punished with hero saying “Tere Liye to mere hath hi kaafi hain”. So, Hritik Roshan fights with a villain who is such massive in size that you get a feel as if Ronak Singh-Siddhu fight in Ghulam was inspired by a movie made in future. Or, if you belong to the psued category of sophistication, you would straight away go back in the memory lanes of Troy with Hector and Achilles fighting each other to avoid a bigger war.

Finally the movie ends with AB justifying that this was the untold love story of Jodhaa-Akbar and you wonder if you have actually seen one. Interestingly, history doesn’t seem to suggest if Akbar had a wife named Jodhaa. It was K Asif’s Mughal-e-Azam which named Akbar’s wife as Jodha and everyone seems to have taken his word.

Overall, you always feel the movie to be loose on almost all the occasions. Directorial flaws have been to an extent that when Jodhaa enters a Mughal fort, a eunuch shouts in a peculiar vulgar style “Ruko, Abhi ek rasam baaki hai”. Jodhaa is made to carry out Hindu rituals by Akbar’s family after that in the Mughal fort where everyone seems to be completely unknown of Hindu culture.

Hritik Roshan has been good. Aishwarya Rai looks old enough to have played even her mother. The much talked about Punam Sinha’s performance is hardly a few centimeters long. Sonu Sood looks too tearful to look like a Rajput prince. In a movie with royal background where actors with heavy voice are desirable, Raja Murad has spoken lesser than the extra who announces the salutations on Akbar’s arrival which are long enough to put you to sleep. Ila Arun has done well and looks scary enough to fuel new life to Ramsay Brother’s dead ventures. Kulbhusan Kharbanda looks constipated as ever.

Music is okay but songs seem to be too long and forced upon the movie.

If you are a lover of watching gigantic sets, “I wore on my marriage” kind of dresses and “Just can’t afford” kind of jewelry, you might like it. But beware; it could well be wallet-shattering if you are watching the movie with your would-be/could-be/already-is.

If you are fond of slapstick comedies, don’t watch it unless you have a group of 5-6 guys with obscenely hilarious sense of humor.


Uptown Girl said...

I agree that the story seemed forced... and Hrithik didn't look like a mughol... or Ash like Jodha... but the movie can be seen for it's sheer magnanimity, sets and post card screenplay! :D. Not that bad!

Shailesh Pandey said...

Dude,yesterday i went to watch this movie with my gangue and gangue kept us awake with the good sense of humour. Movie started well and reminded me the dressing sense of Movie Gladiator.The one scene we could not understand was Akbar showing his Biceps and Rani Jodha getting mesmerized with that, because nothing happened after that.Most of the scenes depicted stage play scenes.You will be speculating when movie will end and infact we started betting on this.

Spiff said...

I hvnt seen the movie itself...but i also feel that Hrtihik ll find itdifficuklt to carry a regal character...his mannerisms r too common....

vineet said...

yaar hum log ke pass aur koi timepass bhi tu nahin hota hai isley jakar movie hi dekh aate hai :-)
Aise maine yeah movie ghar mein hi dekhe...yeah samajh nahin aata hai ki har story mein lov story hi kyoon dekha dete hai...mangal pandey se lekar Jodha Akbar.

Anirudh said...

Honestly I feel thats a lil harsh review as on a whole I quite liked the movie ... Although i agree that sometimes it looked more like saas bahu serial and because of that it was lengthy too

LoonyTalk said...

The biggest blunder was showing Akbar as a monogamist and the "Raymond's man" in the name of creative freedom!