Feb 16, 2008

Movie Review : Jodha Akbar

Powered by: Chakpak.comJodhaa Akbar

A disappointing tale of romance with absolutely no essence.

So what if the director had roped in some of the best of the technicians in the film industry? So what if the director had managed to cast the best of the actors available in tinsel town in his movie? So what if the previous works of the director were critically acclaimed and one of them had even got nominated for an Oscar? But What if the latest offering from the director is only about style and no substance at all with all the hype that was surrounding it. And What if such a movie drags and drags for 3 hours and 20 minutes? Gawd!!!

If you ask me about the movie, it is just a normal average movie made with a lot of grandeur. And if you ask me frankly if I liked it, it’s a big NO. Probably, because I expected a lot from the movie and my expectations increased as soon as some of the reviews started floating in the net. Ashutosh Gowarikar had initially directed a couple of commercial duds, but ever since Lagaan, he had been accredited along with the best directors of India. Though his next venture Swades was not a commercial hit, it clicked because of its content. If Lagaan was about team work, Swades about patriotism, Jodha Akbar speaks about unity.

What goes wrong in JA is that though the message gets clearly conveyed in the first one hour, a lot of unnecessary scenes add to the length of the movie and makes the message very bland. To add it all, there is a love song towards the end that could have been easily avoided. Some of the plots reminded me of the movies that came in the 80’s and early 90’s :

* An evil godmother instead of a step-mom. But the existence of such a mother is recorded in history as well. It is the portrayal that goes wrong here.

* A treacherous brother-in-law and at the end, the hero’s sister runs and pleas him to pardon her ‘suhaagan’.

* Some of the characters eves dropping and leaking vital information at the most crucial points in the movie.

* A person nearing death speaking for so long a time and seconds before his death the important characters of the movie coming in front of him from nowhere.

If the movie had the same cast and crew with a subject that takes place in the modern era, it would definitely see the dust as the story and basic plot offers nothing new.

The movie does have some of the best moments ever shown in Indian cinema. The scene where Akbar reveals to his wife about his illiteracy, the song that appears when Akbar is in the middle of a heated discussion, Akbar taming an elephant (the elephant looks small during the fight but after taming and when Akbar finally mounts onto it, the elephant appears so huge!!!), the entire song Kwaaja Mere Kwaaja (mind blowing music and picturization), Jodha-Akbars sword fight are some of them.

The cinematography, art direction, dialogues, costumes and the music department has done a fabulous job in bringing the 15th century alive on screen. However, the war scene (only war scene in the movie!) could have been shot in a much better way. The scene is a total let down and lacks the intensity of a war. But again, some of the shots of the palaces and the courts along with the BGM’s would make you speechless. So whoever watches a pirated version would, for sure, miss the only best things that the movie offers.

Hrithik is simply amazing in the role of Akbar; one of his careers best performance. Each emotion, composed and controlled, is well captured too. Aishwaryas as Jodha is good only at certain scenes. Otherwise, her performance is very similar to the good roles she had done before. There is an eye color mismatch with the adult Akbar and Jodha and with their childhood. A blooper of the first order. Also, no where in history, it has been mentioned that Akbar had two thumbs in his right hand !!! The rest of the cast has only done what they usually do.

Overall, watching J.A. is not something to die for. Neither is it a time-pass movie, as the time doesn’t pass that easily here!!! Take your own time, check twice if you have anything better to do and only then decide to spend your 3+ hrs. You also need the guts to see an emperor like Akbar trying to woo his wife all the time and somehow win her “Dil”.


soneeta said...

i had planned for a long long time that i will definitely go n see JA.bcoz everythng ws looking so good in the trailors.hritik,aish,her dress her jewellary,the sets everythng..and the recent controversies made it more interesting....but thn came ur review n i m thnking whether 2 spend money on it?????want to see hritik in dt new look without hs suerb dances bt 3+ hrs..not worth it...
looks like we will have to wait for nother hritik's movie..bt not this one

Anonymous said...

Finally, I find someone on Web who doesn't like this movie. I didn't either. It was so hard for me to pass time in theater. I guess I should finally write my experience in my blog.

I agree with so many things you said, like that about Ash's performance. her good part of performance is same as her good role in devdas or others. Its just me who knows how hard it was too sit through entire movie.


vimmuuu said...

@ soneeta
Everything that you longed to see in JA is definitely there. the sets, the jewellery, costumes, etc. But that doesnt make a movie complete, rt?.But as I mentioned, if you want to watch it, please do not do so through a pirated version as you would lose all the best thngs. And guess wht, you do get to see Hrithik performing a small trance dance in Khwaja Meri Khwaja song !!!

@ poonam
There are a couple of others too who dint like JA. Though I should admit, I liked the feel of the movie until the whole distorted romance started peeping in. The script then jumped between romance and politics and from there on kept dragging and dragging. One of the very fem movies that made me look restlessly at my watch in the dark hall. Probably, liked I mentioned, we all had huge expectation from Mr.Ashu !!!

kumudu said...

I really liked the movie eventhough it felt too long especially towards the end. Unlike some others I think the love story is what makes it more palatable. Nothing new, that's true but it gives many lessons to south asian men, it is not 'unmanly' to woo a woman's heart. In fact, for me, a Sri Lankan, coming to this without much baggage, what made Akbar a great man (in the movie) is his tolerance-not only religious but also the rights of his wife. Of course the two main characters are beautiful. Fantastic clothing and jewelry, out of this world music (all four songs) and Hrithik's quiet portrayl of emotions (no over acting of the kind we usually see in Bollywood films) all add to it. Yes, it could have ended at the moment when Jodhaa came back with an afterword from the narrator still the film mesmerized me and i am going to suggest to my students at a university in midwest to go and see the movie.

Nirmal Simon said...

I personally love the Khwaja number. Found its lyrics on freehindilyrics.com and think the song is very well written. A R Rehman has done full justice to Jodhaa Akbar’s songs

vimmuuu said...

Glad you liked the movie.I guess people abroad have liked it so much.That explains why the movie is a hit overseas and a dud here in India. Personally, I felt the movie is a big let down and the incidents were shown in a haphazard way and could not justify the length of the movie.

very true.wonderful song; the lyrics and the music were just mesmerising.Infact, soon after this song got over, there was a round of applause; something that I've noticed for the first time for a song. Btw, Nirmal, how did u feel the movie was?

Oxy said...

Wow... good to be nominated along with you for 2 reasons:

1) I would not have come across this review.

2) The KBK works here as well. U know how... No, no don't think that KBK here means even 'Oxy didn't like it'.. The KBK here means u wrote this on my B'DAY... Yes, 16th Feb is my date of birth.

Anonymous said...

To be frank - i loved the movie...ask me why?? Hrithik ;P i was sooo busy watching him without leaving my breath that i dunno abt the rest uve mentioned ;) u have complimented hrithik..so who else can i vote for ;PP

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