26 September 2008

Jodhaa Akbar: A Spectacle-and-a-HALF

I'm not generally a fan of Hrithik Roshan; he's usually oddly over-muscled, and his acting style is just not for me (Main Prem ki Diwani Hoon--wtf?).

And while I have seen a lot of Aishwarya Rai films, I can't say she's one of my favorite-favorite actresses. I think it's the little-girl voice she usually does in her films. I've heard her in interviews and was surprised to find that the voice she used for the interviews was much lower and more serious.

But in Jodhaa Akbar, I was impressed with both of them. I actually forgot they were Hrithik and Aish. That takes some doing, with those two. I was surprised how much I liked Hrithik in this especially. Fellow blogger Anarchivist and I have discussed before how much better he seems to be in the action-type roles than the straight romantic-type roles. This wasn't the same kind of action role as Dhoom 2, but there was enough action so that it worked for him, and the romantic parts were, well, surprisingly romantic. Also plotwise, even the government-type bits were interesting. I didn't think the movie dragged at all despite the three hour and forty-five minute running time, but then, I did watch it in two different sittings.

Other than Hrithik and Aishwarya, there didn't seem to be many big-name actors, or at least, I didn't recognize many. Kulbhushan Kharbanda was one I knew, but mainly by name, rather than by what he looked like. I recognized Rajesh Vivek, who usually has a bit of the Amrish-Puri-evil-eye going on, but I never knew his name till now. Apparently I've seen him in Bunty aur Babli, Lagaan, and Swades, too, but only remembered him from Nanhe Jaisalmer before this (sorry, Rajesh।) Also, I had never heard of Sonu Sood, who played Jodhaa's brother Sujamal, but I was quite taken with him. If anyone knows of a good movie to watch Sonu in, let me know.

Update: I totally forgot to mention the guy who played the mute drummer Bagha in Lagaan, Amin Hajee. In Jodhaa Akbar's qawwali song (I think it's called Kwaja Mere Kwaja) I noticed what looked like two of Amin, one on either side of the main singer. Amin does not have a credit on the imdb for Jodhaa Akbar, but according to the imdb's trivia section, he does have a twin brother named Karim, and I'm pretty sure they are the ones shown in the picturization.

Now, enough about the actors, I should mention the other beautiful parts of the movie: those incredible, jewelry-laden costumes and that incredible, enormous, and lushly designed set. (I don't have any screen caps, sorry, but I'm sure you can find some all over the internet.) I looooved the color scheme of the saris (and of the entire movie): dark ruby red, deep emerald green, and gold. Oh, the clothes porn*! I think this is the best I have ever seen. You must watch this movie on a widescreen hdtv if at all possible. I saw the first half on a 60-million inch widescreen (not mine), and it was extremely beautiful to look at. Sigh.

*credit goes to Anarchivist for this phrase.


  • Other notes/footnotes: I have heard the movie is not particularly historically accurate, but I think anything that illuminates a previously dark (for me) corner of history is worth watching. It's just a starting point, really. I had no concept of this time and place at all, but, hey, so it's not a history lesson; at least now I have some idea of it that I can use to pin other informational tidbits onto.


  1. Oh, I'm going to review this one next too! I really, really liked it. You know, MPKDH is the biggest WTF-fest I've ever watched (you can read my review of it if you wanna know how bad I took it) but I've liked Hrithik in almost everything else. That's despite him not having a neck. Or wrists. At least until the whole knee-injury thing.

    As far as the romantic thing in JA goes, I totally love the part in their consummation song when the music drops out and it's just Jalal's voice (um, "voice") singing about the garden of his heart. Sooooo sweet. It made me melt.

  2. Yes, I think Main Prem ki Diwani Hoon was one of the first things I looked up on your site. You know, I've wondered about that whole, "Is this a kids' movie ?" thing. I don't know anything about "kids' movies" in India. Are there any/many as such? What passes for a kids' movie there? I have no idea.

    And oh, Jodhaa Akbar. I look forward to your review, Ajnabi!

  3. I really enjoyed JA and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it frankly :) good post :)