Photo Courtesy / www.rediff.com
To be dipped in the essence of history through visual poetry is a decadent treat tantalizing for all the senses. Jodhaa Akbar is a three and a half hour-long Bollywood movie which was released in 2008, starring Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan, which has been directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. It is set in 16th century Mughal India, with a historical story line that is based on characters which are assumed to have existed during that period in time.
On Friday night I decided to indulge in some Bollywood and watched the film in its entirety, something which I had not yet done. Following this experience, I decided to write a “review” on the movie. A disclaimer! I am not a professional critic and my opinion is solely my own.
Well then, let’s get started!
To begin with, the narrative voice of Amitabh Bachan lays the land for us as the political dynamics of India during that time are explained in the opening shots of the film. A special note of thanks was accredited to Mr.Bachan during the beginning credits of the film, of which he is absolutely deserving. His powerful voice captures your attention immediately and although the first half an hour felt a tad bit like a history lesson, his bass keeps your attention. As do the powerful visuals that show armies of men fighting in a war zone, some with arrows and others riding elephants, each wanting to claim victory for their rulers. Perhaps it is my love for history that enticed me and led me to sit through this entire narrative patiently.
The love story which blossoms between Jodhaa (a Rajput princess) and Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar (a Mughal emperor) is the central focus of the film. I am in awe of how effortlessly the two actors are able to portray their characters, laden in heavy clothing and I am sure the hot weather and arid climate of the location was no help. The most enjoyable part of the movie for me was when the two were slowly falling in love, which concluded with a happy marriage. Yes, you could say I am a bit of a sappy creature for really thoroughly enjoying this bit of Bollywood fodder but do be kind! Such epic love stories are much more enticing than the express dating we have today. Tinder, Facebook, Twitter and the likes are platforms for choosing a potential mate and Skype dates with your long distance lover is deemed romantic! Not in my book.
Albeit, the two characters were brought together due to a strategic alliance for the Mughal emperor to extend his rule and the Rajput King to protect his Kingdom. This marriage of compulsory alliance, forced by the hand of political gains and strategies turned out to work much more favorably then it would ever have a chance to in today’s time. The marriage between a Hindu and Muslim who overcome the dogma of their religious ways to come together in a communion of love and trust is endearing.
The film is a worth a watch if you have three hours to kill and a love for history, romance and best of all, classic, clear and captivating cinematography.