Planet Bollywood
Producer: Ronnie Screwala (UTV Motion Pictures) and Ashutosh Gowarikar
Director: Ashutosh Gowarikar
Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Suhasini Mulay, Raza Murad, Punam Sinha, Rajesh Vivek, Pramod Moutho, and Ila Arun
Music: A.R. Rahman
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Genre: Historic
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Approximate Running Time: 3 Hrs. 20 Mins
Film Released on: 15 February 2008
Reviewed by: Shruti Bhasin  - Rating: 8.5 / 10
More Reviews and Analysis by PB Critics:
    • Review by Amodini Sharma - Rating: 8.0 / 10
    • Rebuttal by Jaykumar Shah - Rating: 5.0 / 10
    • Review by Aakash Gandhi - Rating: 8.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.13 / 10 (rated by 413 viewers)
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Opinion Poll: Has "Jodhaa-Akbar" lived up to the hype?

Jodhaa Akbar…the untold love story…behind every great man is a strong woman.

Ashutosh Gowarikar showcases his most ambitious project to date about a ruler that goes through his own journey of greatness and ends up finding true love.

As a passionate moviegoer, one has to let go of scrutinizing the accuracy of every historical detail and go beyond the story to see the filmmaker’s vision.

The mood of the film is set from the start, as Amitabh Bachchan begins to narrate the film, we see an amazing 16th century battle scene (with elephants and thousands of extras – something that reminded me of Lord of the Rings). Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar (Hrithik Roshan) is an emperor who wants all the kingdoms to rule under his sovereignty in Hindustan. From being powerful, to tolerant, to generous, and of course persuasive, the empire conquered many kingdoms, despite being resented.

The Rajputs were the bravest of the brave and did not bow down very easily. In a political move, King Bharmal of Amer (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) decides to rule under the emperor, only if he married his daughter, Princess Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). In order to build a strong alliance with some Rajputs, Akbar agrees, despite the stubborness of his wife-to-be. And so begins the love story of complete strangers from 2 different religions.

As the movie progresses, we see the political and administrative decisions that Akbar becomes liable for, and in the process, he tries to win the heart of Jodhaa. He loses people he cares for, he gets betrayed, he is wounded, he is accountable for his actions, and he is most of all, very human. The charming relationship between Jodhaa and Akbar grows slowly, where two people learn to understand each other, embrace each other’s culture and differences, and finally let love shine in their hearts.

A round of applause to writers Haidar Ali and Ashutosh Gowarikar for writing some interesting sequences. Some of these include:

  • The first battle scene
  • Akbar taming a wild elephant as a pass-time
  • The hypnotic trance that the prince goes in during the song Khwaja Mere Khwaja
  • During a political meeting, Akbar sees his wife for the first time while doing hindu prayers
  • The Rajput feast when Jodhaa cooks
  • The swordfight between Jodhaa and Akbar
  • The Azeem-O-Shaan song
  • One on one battle between Akbar and his brother-in-law

What can one say about a movie that costs a whopping 40 crores? Its one of the most visually stunning films I’ve seen in terms of colour, choreographies, cinematography, art, costumes, and action. The length of the film is felt in the 2nd half and the movie should be edited by about 20 minutes to leave a stronger impact. The dialogues excellent, understandable and some of them give you goodbumps. Music and background score by AR Rehman is soulful and infused properly within the film.

Coming to performances, the main stars showcase natural chemistry and personify their characters so much that you forget you are watching actors playing a role. Hrithik Roshan as Akbar is flawless. His mannerisms and expressions are perfect, especially when he explains to his advisors to stop bringing religion in political matters. He allows his personal barriers to be broken and shows how vulnerable Akbar was to make the right decisions. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan balances her co-star by being simple, straighforward, and fearless as Jodhaa. Even though, she has a meaty role, her best sequences include Hrithik in the frame.

The film has some outstanding performances by secondary characters, with the most notable being: Ila Arun as Maham Anga (motherly figure to Akbar), who is intimidating and sinister for the wrong reasons; Sonu Sood as Sujamal (Jodhaa’s cousin) delivers his best performance to date; and finally Nikitin Dheer as Sharifudin (Akbar’s brother-in-law) is outstanding as the main villain.

As a director, every frame of Jodhaa Akbar is impressive. The magnitude to put together a historical film and blending a love story is no easy feat. Ashutosh Gowarikar succeeds in producing a film that is sure to be among the best of 2008. His dedication to make a film like Jodhaa Akbar is inspiring, and you’ll only understand this if you watch the film in the cinema.

This Valentine’s weekend, watch Jodhaa Akbar to be entertained and mesmerized by its spectacular beauty!

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