Sunday, February 17, 2008

'Jodhaa Akbar’: Grandeurs of the golden era

-By Swetha Amit
Mughal history has always mesmerized its readers with its magnificent aura by being imprinted from historical chapters into our hearts. To an extent where it has inspired a reminiscent revival amongst filmmakers to cruise the viewers through this royal and magnificent era. Several elements of power, pride and prestige have been illustrated lavishly yet not without the essence of true love; the latter either exemplified unconditionally like that in ''Mughal e Azam or the not so emphasized one during the ‘golden’ era.

Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar is a majestic saga of a mighty emperor Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar and a defiant Rajput princess Jodhaa; and their culmination of love for each other. A lot of speculation has been made regarding this particular epic. Yet the film convincingly portrays the powerful theme along with other dimensions of Akbar’s noble personality and attitude towards treachery, injustice and plight of our country.

Set in the 16th century, the film starts by showcasing Jalaluddin Mohammad(Hrithik Roshan) at a very tender age being exposed to wars and bloodshed and winning. His strategy of strengthening relations with the Rajput kings propels King Bharmal (Khulbhushan) of Amer to offer his daughter Jodhaa’s (Aishwarya Rai) hand to the emperor. The alliance proves to be an arduous task as he tries to woo the headstrong princess and goes all out to fulfill her two conditions as well.

What initially starts off as a political gain and merger to consolidate his kingdom takes a different turn altogether as this romance blossoms slowly like a bud into a blooming flower. Acting as an illuminating eye opener Jalaluddin learns a thing or two about winning over people and his queen than just mere battles. It brings out the greatness in the emperor which showcases nothing less than his winning streak in every aspect as he earns the title of ‘Akbar the great’. Amidst all this is the display of deception, chicanery, misunderstandings and greed from various sources which is all warred against with wrestling combats resulting in a triumphant victory accompanied with righteousness.

Jodhaa Akbar is astounding and makes the audiences spell bound with its lavish sets and glorious costumes and jewellery. The entire lighting, background scores, extravagant appearance, power packed performances makes one feel that the time machine has transported one back to the glittering period of the Mughals.

Hrithik Roshan is absolutely brilliant as the valiant Akbar and gets into the skin of the character so much that it makes one visualize him as none less than the historical character whom he portrays.. Aishwariya Rai fits into the shoes of the fiery Jodhaa and gives a fabulous performance as well. Rest of the cast is equally awe inspiring. Music by A.R.Rahman doesn’t disappoint and the background scores are fantastic. Ashutosh Gowariker indeed has produced a stupendous film which not only portrays romance but lessons that many can imbibe into the present day scenario.

Some of the sequences in the film deserve a special mention which sends implausible goose bumps amongst the audience. The one where Jalaluddin is taming a wild elephant portrays the dangerous game of life and death and is profoundly shot in a way that propels an enthusiastic round of appreciative claps.

The two conditions communicated by Jodhaa to the emperor eliciting a mixed reaction of amusement and bewilderment in the latter are portrayed with tremendous coy and conviction. Agreeing heartily to her unwillingness to convert her religion and a request for a small shrine in the palace exhibits his liberal, unconventional and secular attributes; a rarity especially in that era. Also the sword sequence between Jodhaa and Akbar where the latter is wooing her back to his kingdom after a tiff; proves to be romantic in its own manner and portrays the clash of egos rather than the tinkering of the weapons.

Putting his nation above everything his righteous and valiant stance is exhibited even if it means wrestling a mighty combat with Sharifuddin Hussain his brother in law. Uttering this dialogue 'Hum Hindustan ko galat haaton mein jaate nahin dekh sakta' sends cheers and thunderous applauses.

Prodigious qualities of the emperor are displayed exquisitely as those of the unique jewels adorned on his crown. Unlike other Afghan kings, his interest lay in the welfare of India and showering it with prosperity instead of plundering wealth of its rightful abode. Flourishing the country and addressing queries of the common man, his golden heart was exhibited unmistakably in such instances. Though he lost his heart to Jodhaa its golden essence remained along with the nine gems in his court-‘Navaratna’.

Though the duration of this film may prove to be a limitation and tests the patience levels of its viewers, it is definitely a must watch as it is bound to fall into the caliber of good arty films. No doubt it depicts the grandeurs of the 'Mughal' golden era.
Written for
Appeared as Editors' choice and story of the day



Blogger KParthasarathi said...

To produce such historical pictures authentically to great effect is no mean task.The entire team needs to be applauded which the reviewer has done in her inimitable style with an eye for details.The review is sublime poetry written in sweet prose whetting the appetite of the reader to see the film without loss of time.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Thank you.The movie is a must watch for all. It isnt everyday that we see history repeating itself on a literal basis.:-)

10:51 PM  

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