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: Jaykumar Shah  - Rating: 5.0 / 10
More Reviews and Analysis by PB Critics:
    • Feature Review by Shruti Bhasin - Rating: 8.5 / 10
    • Review by Amodini Sharma - Rating: 8.0 / 10
    • Review by Aakash Gandhi - Rating: 8.5 / 10
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Music Review
Public Rating Average: 5.13 / 10 (rated by 413 viewers)
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Opinion Poll: Has "Jodhaa-Akbar" lived up to the hype?

Wow !!! Grand Forts, Lots of animals, a huge army in a scene or two, Pearls everywhere, a beautiful rajput princess, a handsome mughal emperor, a political marriage, conspiracies, fights, songs and all of it shown together on grand sets. I wish Ashutosh Gowarikar could have been as brief as this!! So is this enough to make a good movie .... I guess not. Movie posters say "from the director of "Lagaan" and "Swadesh", I would say from the director of "Baazi" (what movies is that?!!! trust me there was one). And What hurts the movie worst over here compared to Baazi is that it is too long to be seated comfortably awake in a dark movie hall.

I saw Krish jumping on and off without a mask but with a sword, without the black overcoat but with a colourful, embroderied, pearl studded, costly one. I saw a glimpse of the most beautiful woman of yesteryears, standing tall with her tearful eyes and a pearl studded neck everytime she came onscreen. Did they say it was about Akbar and Jodha?!!

I think research can prove she had more pearls on her in each scene that what an average Tanishq shop might have in their outlets. I think research will also prove that the average viewer of JA compared to other movies feel that the popcorn bag that they got was small and finished too soon, even before a scene can get completed.

So its a bad movie, is it? No. Not exactly bad but something of that sorts.

Fact or fiction?

We will not even touch in our discussions the facts / history of Akbar or Jodha or Mughal Empire or anyone for that matter as I feel that I dont want this movie to get a negative rating just for that.

I wonder how did AG managed to make real characters of yesteryears look so fictitious, their reactions so unreal and their motives so unclear. The story essentially had to be about 2 lovers, who fell in love amidst a lot of political issue, AG gets his heart correct in the matters of lovestory but the Mughal background to the movie makes the lovestory look silly.

The Lovestory and the rest of it

Jalauddin Mohammed (Hritik Roshan) who later gets conferred by the name of Akbar, had been more of a pawn at the hands of Bairam Khan (Yuri) and Maham Anga (Ila Arun) till he grows up, and then he takes the rule and his decisions to himself. Akbar had to get married Jodha bai (no one is sure for her real name, played by Aishwarya rai Bachhan, ... hai, every bachhan comes with a "hai") for political reasons. She wants to retain her religion and faith after marriage and Akbar allows.

It takes days for Akbar to win over the trust and love of his wife. And the story was supposed to be the beautiful encounters of the two as Akbar wins over Jodha. I feel the premise itself was so good that a beautiful movie could have been made of it if only the writers would have stuck to this and only this part of the story.

There were far too many subplots, of Surjamal (Sonu Sood) , Jodha's brother, of Rajput maharajas, of Sharifuddin Husain (Nikitin Dheer), of Maham Anga (and her antics to make a saas-bahu serial out of Chandrakanta... oops JA), of Adham Khan (Shahji Chowdhary), of Akbar turning into a good ruler and about his fight with his brother in law, and him trying to create religious parity in his kingdom. This masala takes spice out of the lovestory.

Story is written by Haidar Ali (yes, from the writers of Baazi), who has penned some beautiful TV serials for Doordarshan in earlier years, and he just goes back in time to create a TV serial for bigger screen. Screenplay as well as story is the villain for the movie. Slow and indulgent.

Period Movie is made by the crew and not the cast . period.

You can see a lot of effort being made by AG to make this film have a period look. I wonder how he would have managed hundreds of extras and animals on the field to perform. Great work AG for that . Nitin desai's sets are lavish and beautiful adding a rich touch to the movie, but he missed a few things outright. I could not understand how were the mughal palaces different from Rajput forts, it gave the same feel. The whole Idea of cultural differences could not come through because of this.

One thing that I would not like to miss mentioning here was the great disservice that the Makeup Artist Madhav Kadam has done to the cause. A simple Kajal loaded eyes or a chandan-sindur teeka on the forehead, a simple beard without moustache and only a drooling moustache,could not make the characters look Mughal or Rajput, there is a lot more required.

Morever great clothes from Neeta lulla with the 2007's most happening hairstyles for the lead characters, also would lead to a bad look and feel of the characters. I also wonder what made Neeta make Aish wear such small revealing blouses, I think she should have researched more on kind of clothes Mughal wore.

And then comes the Dialogues (K P Saxena), trying to be simple to understand, trying to create a Mughal era feel, trying to make sparks fly amongst the lead pair, and failing in everything that it was trying to do. Don't miss out on Jodha calling Akbar as "Shahenshahji" in every second scene. Torturous and hilarious to say the least. As far as acting is concerned, for the first time I felt that Ila Arun did a nice job not hamming around in every scene. I am not sure was it a superlative performance by her or that the rest of them were so bad that I found her good.

Hritik Roshan barring his hairstyle looks good as Akbar, he comes across as a boy next door, lovable and affable, but that is precisely what you dont expect Shahenshah-e-Hindustan to look like. At times, his dialogue delivery is, dont mind my words, Stupid, making you feel that he is getting back to his character of Koi mil gaya. Don't miss the scene where he kills his brother, asking him to be thrown again from the top of the fort again uttering, "use phir se upar laya jaye", compare this with "mein mere papa se seekh ke aya hu..." from KMG, How can both of it sound the same? !!! He shines in the sword practice scenes, in scenes with Aishwarya and in a few other scenes.

Aishwarya looks fabulous, and thankfully speaks less, only flashing her brown lenses turning red crying every now and then, uttering few of her weird dialogues with best possible weird style. She is the only one who looks as if suited to that period. Girls, watch out for the truck loads of gold and pearls and emeralds she wears.

Sonu sood is good, in his unnecessary role. Rest of the crew including Raza Murad, Pramod Moutho, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Suhasini Mulay, Vishwa Badola, yuri and others, does good work, but are reduced to nothing more than extras in the movie. Nikitin Dheer marks an impressive debut.

And now the best of the movie for the last. All the things review above would not have even fetched half a star for the movie but for its music and cinematography.

A R Rehman does it again, absolutely great. He creates a "Khwaja mere Khwaja" (sung by himself) and "Man Mohana"(sung by bela shende) both with such great panache. He is the true Akbar of Bollywood music. "Jashn-e-Bahara" (sung by Javed Ali) is very hummable so is "In Lamho ke Daman mein.." (Sonu Nigam). Azeem-o-Shah Sahenshah is one song that transfers you to the era. Songs are beautifully written by Javed Akhtar, with Female voice singing good Hindi lyrics and male voices coming up with good Urdu every time. A R Rehman and Javed Akhtar makes a great pair.

Another ace for the movie is Kiran Deohans, director of photography. Outstanding cinematography with great war fronts, amazing forts, palaces giving a great visual appeal to the movie.

So here we go with a 5* /10 for the movie 2.5 for ARR and 2.5 for Deohans.

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