Archive for February 2008

Jodha Akbar – My Opinion

February 27, 2008
For starters, I must confess that I am a fan of Ashutosh Gowarikar… I loved Lagaan and Swades and the latter left a deep impact on my mind.Most of all, the goodness in Ashutosh’s films is what appeals me. His films are usually very honest and render the message straight off; no pretensions, no hyped-up stuff. Or So I thought. But in this movie, he tries to, in fact, hype¬† the sets, the jewellery, etc. by panning the camera through them. Jodha Akbar has its own positives like the music, a few well-shot scenes , etc.

Some good ones like the one in which Akbar (Hrithik) fights with an elephant – elegantly picturised; war scenes have been done very well – massive, mostly copied though; also romance scenes between Akbar and Jodha – I have always loved the way Ashutosh portrays romance – both in Lagaan and Swades, romance between the hero and his girl is pure and beautiful; he never pollutes such scenes and they never turn into vulgar-skin-showing-feeling-up-each-other types and that is exactly what I like about them.

The background score, music and choreography are very satisfying; very apt to situations in the film. I simply love Rahman’s composition of Khwajaji; Azeem-o-shaan shehenshah was beautifully choreographed, though more like a school drill its vibrant. Rahman is the only drastically versatile music composer we have today. He dives completely into the genre of the film and brings out some gems like these. What a contrast, in say, a Rang de Basanti and Jodhaa Akbar.

Somewhere Ashutosh has digressed with the script. The movie turns out to be more about glorifying Akbar rather than being a love story. The entire thing about bringing out Akbar’s greatness and humility overshadowed the main theme of the film – the love story.

Notice a major contradiction in Akbar’s character too. During the film, one gets a feeling that Akbar was very patriotic towards his sar-zameen, Hindustan. He says he cannot leave Hindustan at the mercy of any Tom, Dick and Harry and mouths more dialogues to that effect. This clearly shows how much he is in love with Hindustan and therefore is a patriot.
But we must remember that he was also a ruler which means he was greedy for more and more land; he wanted to rule over entire Hindustan. The contradiction in the character comes herein – a patriot never wants to rule a nation, he just wants it to be free; which means Akbar is not patriotic (as shown in the film) but is just possessive of something he owns. So, for him, Hindustan is more of a trophy (that he would want to win over) than a land that he loves and can make sacrifices for it. Though, I don’t know whether this part of Akbar’s character wasthe director’s imagination or Akbar was really like that.

Hrithik cant play a character role like that of Akbar. Prithviraj Kapoor as Akbar seems to have got etched in my mind. That look of pride in his face, the elegant king-like walk, the erect shoulders and the bitterly eyes speaking volumes; all this was certainly missing in Hrithik. He did his usual Dhoom 2 walk everywhere.

All in all an OK film. A period film after a long while… Watch it at least once.