Written by – Haidar Ali (story & screenplay), Ashutosh Gowariker (screenplay), K.P. Saxena (dialogue)
Directed by – Ashutosh Gowariker
Starring – Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Poonam Sinha, Ila Arun, Raza Murad, Suhasini Mulay, Kulbhushan Kharbanda
The movie is good, and the love story is sweet. It is a little long, but you won’t really mind it when you are watching it. I think it would be best watched at home where you could fast forward the songs (The “Azeem-o-shan Shehensha” song seemed particularly long). You could also split up your viewing into small sections to watch the movie as a series.
I loved the costumes, sets, story, and music. The performances were good too. There was just one little thing that irked me about the acting. Jodhaa’s mother seems to be smiling even when she needs to be crying or sad. Jodhaa rushes crying into her mother’s arms when she is told she has to marry Akbar, and her mother is smiling. I just could not understand it.
Aishwarya fitted her role as Jodhaa, but Hrithik seemed a slimmer Akbar than I would have imagined. Nevertheless, Hrithik’s performance was not lacking in any area, and he portrayed the character very well.
The story goes as follows – Jodhaa, a young Rajput princess is married off to Akbar, as a political deal, in a bid to protect her kingdom from bloodshed at the hand of the Mughals. She resents being married off as a dealing, especially when the to-be husband is a Muslim. Still, she puts up two conditions in front of Akbar for marriage – that she should not be forced to convert, and that she should be allowed to kept a temple in her palace. Akbar agrees, and they get married. Yet, she is apprehensive, and distant after marriage. Akbar respects her feelings, and thus starts a courtship period, which finally ends in deep love. In the process, Akbar becomes more tolerant towards other religions, and becomes more humane towards his subjects.
As mentioned in the credits, do not take the movie as a word-to-word history lesson. This is just one version of the many folk tales and versions floating around in the murky waters of ancient Indian history. Watch the movie as just another love story and you will love it.
Just a note – When the royal daawat (feast) is hosted, I could not help wondering while looking at the thaalis (plate) whether royalties really ate that much. I wouldn’t be able to finish a quarter of that giant plate. Did they really have such a great appetite, or did they waste a lot of food on their plate?
There is a beautiful quote, a dialogue in the movie, that I want to end this post with.
“Jis dil mein mohobbat ho use jannat kehte hain. Jis dil mein mohobbat na ho use jahannum kehte hain.”
(Translation : Heaven is a heart that has love in it. Hell is a heart that does not have love in it)