The eagerly awaited release of this year 'Jodhaa-Akbar' has finally hit the screens and what's the verdict? Can this grandeur, opulent periodic film focusing on the Mughal life steal the show?
Well, here is what we think..
The 3 plus hour Ashutosh Gowarikar film gives the audience an insight to the great Mughal emperor's rule, the political alliances, the royal courts, the immensely fought battle scenes, some eye-catching sword fights, great costumes and to top it all, a beautiful romance set in the historic era between a Mughal emperor and a Rajput princess. The most fascinating part of this film is the finesse and class with which Ashutosh Gowarikar has threaded on the love story, giving it, his interpretation, yet making it look classy. Alas!! The maker of fabulous films like 'Lagaan' and 'Swades' can only end up making such a beautifully scripted film like 'Jodhaa-Akbar'.
Akbar the Great, and his historical deeds are very popular, but very less is known about the manner in which this Mughal Great fell for his Hindu wife, Jodhaa Bhai, whom he had married only for political gains.
Hrithik Roshan, as the dynamic emperor Akbar is at his best. His scenes with the sword, his bare-bodied muscle flexing scenes are a treat to watch. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, as the subtle and beautiful Jodhaa delivers a knock-out punch performance-wise. But one wonders when we will get back the fresh and innocent face of Ash, as she looks totally worn out in few scenes.
A.R. Rehman proves that he is the Master yet again, with his songs. But the music could have got an extra lift if only, one or two songs could have been snipped. In the International Market, the film might suffer owing to the long three and half hours duration of the movie. Costumes are a feat to watch and so is th editing, cinmaography and makeup.
Talking about the star cast, Illa Arun, as Akbar's nasty and jealous 'Dai Maa' does a great job. New face, Nikitan Dheer is the one to watch out for, as he is all set to join the villain bandwagon in Bollywood. Sonu Sood, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Suhasini Mulay and Poonam Sinha are well cast. The icing on the cake was the soothing voice-over given by Big B in the film.
The exuberantly shot battle scenes clearly specify that Bollywood films are right there on the top, when it comes to International standards. The scene where Hrithik tames an elephant is noteworthy, and Illa Arun's confrontation scenes with Ash too seem realistic. Ash and Hrithik did it in 'Dhoom 2' and here they do it again, albeit in another era. One can feel the love gradually develop between the two and the leads carry that feeling well. The subtle and sensitively filmed lovemaking scene between Ash and Hrithik where they at last express their love for each other is sensuous to the core. The sword fights between the leading pair is a scene to watch out for. All said and done, Ash and Hrithik prove once again that their on screen chemistry is commendable, and yes, far classier than that is seen between Abhishek and Ash… The hand combat scene between Nikitan Dheer and Hrithik remind us of the Eric Bana and Brad Pitt fight.
Overall, a classy film made, but the duration could be a negative factor for the film's success. If one does not mind to sit thro' the length, then you are surely in for a treat as you enjoy the dose of history, a periodic drama with all the flavors, and above all, the chemistry of Hrithik-Ash to provide the icing on the cake… -(SAMPURN)
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