I missed the start of the movie thanks to the Mumbai traffic. Almost a crime fr a movie buff who missed the advertisements and moreover the titles! After getting the crux of the first 5 minutes from my friends I slipped back into time... into the Mughal era...
So, kahan se shuru kare jahanpanah... The movie starts, at least for me, with a magnanimous war sequence, between the Mughals-led by Akbar and a Rajput kingdom. The bows and arrows, the huge battleground, the screeching swords and the elephants roaring and stamping their foot on the beleaguered soldiers was a treat to watch! The dolby effect makes you wince on instinct. There is a lull before a storm, however, in JodhaAkbar, the storm leads to a lull. We are introduced to the other half of the magnum opus Jodhabai, the daughter of the maharaja of Amer played by...Ashutosh's favorite maharaja...Kulbushan Kharbanda. He shows his constipated face throughout the movie with natural ease. Maharani is Suhasini Mulay, while Sonu Sood plays her cousin brother, who is unhappy over the siyasat being handed over to someone else.
Maharaja decided to save his countrymen of battle, bloodshed and violence and surrender his state to Akbar. This creates a rift between rival Rajput kingdoms and Amer is banished by one and all, breaking a marriage alliance of Jodha with some Rajput guy. This leads to the proposal of Maharaj to Akbar to marry his daughter Jodha in return of his state. Akbar, accepts the proposal in order to set up a "misaal" of Hindu-Muslim alliance. And thus, begins a love affair.
There is everything in this love ishtory... Takraars, romance, light hearted silent moments, saas bahu saazish and jealousy. However, each plot is extended and goes on and on... There is no surprise in the plot. The screenplay drags to the finale, which brightens things up a notch or two.
Music: The background music scores over the 5 songs. Rahman dissapoints! Lagaan and Swades had better songs in comparison. Only the kehne ko jashne bahara lingers in my mind. Although picturisation wise, Marhaaba is festive. But, with Hrithik donned as Akbar, he can only watch people dancing here!
Character actors have less to do here, but Hrithik's ammi shines in her small role. Ashwarya holds her own in front of Hrithik and is competent.But Hrithik is the soul of the movie. He potrays Akbar, from the ones we have read, better in the action sequences. The romantic angle of Akbar, is delved like any other mushy movie. Probably, he could have improved there.
In the age, where top directors are banishing popular commercial requirements to make movies that satisfy thier creative urges, Ashutosh joins the list. But, this one, somehow doesnt give the triumphant feeling of Lagaan or the guilty feeling of Swades. It makes your head ache like old History books did!
However, for the cinematoghaphy, the effort taken in meticulously getting the look of the Mughals, the Rajputs and the battlefield you can take a pill and watch this once.