Ashutosh Gowariker’s India formula works the magic again. Lagaan and Swades revolved around India, and so does Jodhaa Akbar. Love and secularism seems to be the central theme of the movie. And Ashutosh knows how to handle this best. The movie is the right mix of history and love that make it a must-watch in spite of being a period movie.
Amitabh Bachchan has lent his voice to the movie here too. Movie begins on the battlefield with Akbar (or Baadshah Jalaluddin Mohammad as he was then called) as only a few years old child. Ashutosh has made a good attempt to show a sort of war strategy of hitting arrow right in the enemy’s eye. From Lagaan, he already has the knack of handling huge crowd of people. He brings his experience here again in the war sequence. The war sequence at the very beginning makes a huge impact.
Movie has couple of hair-raising sequences such as when the muscle man Hrithik takes on an out-of-control elephant. The sequence of climax fight is also a good one. By and far the movie revolves around the love story of Malika-e-Hindustan Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) and Baadshah Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar (Hrithik Roshan). Although movie has a lot of Urdu jargons, it is still much simplified. The roles match the best to Hrithik and Aishwarya. Instead of revisiting the entire history of Akbar, Ashutosh has picked a small part of Akbar’s life and painted a beautiful love story. The notion that history has not given much attention to Jodhaa Bai and Akbar’s love story makes the movie special and appealing.
The movie has been picturized at Nitin Desai Studio near Mumbai. The sets are simply spectacular. They have beautifully designed the Fatehpur Sikri, one of the best architectures built by Emperor Akbar. Ashutosh has given much attention to detail. For example, the moment first ray of sunlight enters the room it shines up brightly with a golden glow. The movie has depicted this superbly and without affecting the storyline.
Ashutosh seems to work only with the best in the industry. First Aamir, then Shahrukh and now he creates magic with Hrithik and Aishwarya. The recipe works here too. Aishwarya and Hrithik steal the show the same way they did in Dhoom-2. The story at no point feels like a boring epic. It’s more refreshing and love-filled. Ashutosh has made the best efforts to show romance sequence with a touch of 16th century, yet keep 21st century viewers equally interested and engrossed.
A. R. Rahman’s Music and Lyrics of Javed Akhtar adds another feather in the cap. The Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah track is one of the best parts of the film. The entire empire of India hails Baadshah Akbar in this song. It seems like the 26th January Republic Day Parade when people from different parts of the country stage a performance to represent their region. The song leaves behind a substantial impact. At various occasions, the movie sends out the message of secularism. Jashn-e-Bahara is another good song that is marvelously fused into the storyline.
The movie is a bit longer than usual but at no point it makes you feel so. Overall, Jodhaa Akbar is beyond doubt, a superb blockbuster. Highly recommended!
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