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Movie Review: Jodhaa Akbar (Hindi) 56

Genre: Romance/ Period

Period films, when well made are a visual treat. Right from the likes of Mughal-E-Azam till the recent Jodhaa Akbar, these flicks have the power to transport one back in time to relive those ages. What might disconcert many viewers of this genre is the excessive directorial license used by some movie makers to blur lines between fact and fiction. Nevertheless, I would still say that Jodha Akbar is a great effort and a well made film!

Based on the popular folklore, the story is about young Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Mohammed (Hrithik) getting wedded to the princess of Amer Jodha (Aishwarya), a match arranged for political gain. But, little do both know that this marriage would spark off a fiery romance in the backdrop of young Jalal metamorphosing into an all powerful Emperor Akbar thwarting pressures from family, religious heads & administrative issues.

As such, the story neither has a beginning nor an end that any average moviegoer would look for. In fact, there is a little bit of everything. You can find romance, action including both human and animal duels, large scale wars, songs, great looking lead pair, and most importantly, the opulence and glorification of Akbar’s reign. But, it wouldn’t qualify as a documentary either, since the concept of Jodha in Akbar’s life is in itself fictitious.

The highlight however, is one man who stands out the most in the movie, Hrithik Roshan who has once again proved his star prowess. His talent and hard work is visible in every frame that he is in, be it romancing Jodha or on the battlefield. You would really believe him to be Shahenshah-E-Hindustan (Emperor of India). His shirtless scene with the sword and the sparring contest between the lead pair are extremely praiseworthy.

The Hrithik-Ash chemistry seen in Dhoom 2 has not just been continued here but has taken to a different level altogether. Aishwarya made a great choice to play a proud and defiant princess. The chemistry and the directorial genius can be seen in scenes where Akbar acknowledges his ignorance to read and write, his confusion when offered arati, the sparring and scenes when the couple have their private moments.

With a three and a half hour runtime and lots of sub-plots, Jodha Akbar at times, seems dragged. A tighter script chopping off at least half hour from the film could have helped. The songs, Jashn-E-Bahaara, Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah and the sufi Khwaja mere Khwaja stand out. If not a blockbuster, the movie will definitely go down in history as a well made movie. Recommended for a very patient audience only!

Rating: 8/10 – Hrithik & his chemistry wish Ash are amazing, but story drags!
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