Friday, February 29, 2008

Jod"Haah!" Ak"baar" !

Now, when I started writing this little review about this movie , the initial response was lukewarm to say the least . Infact one of my good friends - nicknamed American Express , for obvious overseas-admit related issues and other "Vetti-scene" matters went on to rubbish the very idea of a blog. But then positives and negatives happen, especially the female fraternity which has been eternally loving this hottie's(!!!LOL!!) blogs have again ensured this gets into the place where it needs to. So yes , enough of personal tirades and rubbish - let's get on with what this blog needs to be about.

Jodhaa Akbar is a very short(! ) i.e. 3 hour 30 minute takeoff on a part of the Mughal Emperor- Jalaluddin Akbar's life.( exceptionally short by Ashutosh's standards). It starts off with the Battle of Panipat where the little Akbar is exposed to the trials and tribulations faced by the prisoners of war and his armymen. Although it takes a while to learn the art of being an emperor , he grows into the part slowly, until a few incidents prompt him onto taking the mantle of the supreme-commander of the empire, and take decisions of his own. Faced with a potentially dangerous opposition in the Rajputs, Akbar brokers truce with the Rajput coalition , in exchange for the princess Jodhabai's hand in marriage. How this compelling union of two uncompromising individuals grows into a strong bond of love and understanding is what this film portrays over the length that I have already specified. Put in are a few elements of distrust and back-stabbing to make the plot interesting, and they do a good job at that.

Sometimes you would expect the movie to turn turtle with the negative reviews it has been getting from your peers , but then this was something I would not have missed anyday. It was the first time I was watching an Ashutosh Gowariker film in the theatre and I was happy with the experience this movie offered me, to be true. Despite few shortcomings like the length of the movie and occasional blooper-style shots ( especially in Khwaja Mere Khwaja - what was Hrithik doing there dancing like a Zombie? No marks for that song despite it being one of the best in the album - because it was totally zombified! ) At most places the dialogues were in chaste Urdu and Hindi , I understood around 80% of it - remaining 20% was totally new to me and I had to guess the meaning of the words from the way the scene panned out later. Although this may not be a negative , when reaching out to the big audiences the dialogues could have been penned viewer-friendly at a few places.

The music by A.R.Rahman needs no mention - its a huge hit all over. Ashutosh has done justice to every song except the exceedingly powerful Khwaja Mere Khwaja . Inn Lamhon and Azeem O Shaan were beautiful to say the least , and the rest of the songs played out in the background. Hrithik looks every bit the emperor that Akbar would have been like , and Aishwarya finally does some acting ( lessons learnt from Dhoom-2??) which is nice to watch. Akbar's mother and his foster-mother(sorry if the terminology is wrong I mean the lady in white) have played their roles well - so are the others in the movie including the eunuch. One can notice Ashutosh regulars scattered around the movie , especially Kulbushan Kharbanda and the "Jai Bajrang Bali" guy from Lagaan. A little more effective screenplay would have made the film powerful , although the stunt and action sequences have been filmed beautifully. Gowariker could have done away with the final Troy-like fight - that was one scene where I felt he had copied , the other being the battle scenes(image multiplying Mr.Ashu?) Locales are a treat to watch and this film has all the flavours of a classic period movie thrown into it.

There are a lot more to describe about this movie , which maybe noticed by me, or by you on repeated viewing. For now , it remains a classic movie which I would recommend as a must-watch for everyone who needs a time-off from the Heyy-baby or Dhamaal kind of junkbox comedies.

Ashutosh has done it again. On the whole , nice movie to watch with a patient person.(A Harsh Ad is good enough for me ) To put it in a phrase ,

"Yahaan Bhi Wahaan Bhi Hai Tere Dhol

Dhira Nom Dhira Nom Jalaluddeen Akbar!"