What I look for, while watching a movie are some absorbing scenes which I can take back in my heart leaving from the theater and Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodhaa Akbar did succeed to do exactly that. A three and a half hour long epic saga is one of the evidences of dauntless film making. The film is a roller coaster ride which starts with a bang in the "battlefield of Panipat" then blossoming through Jodha-Akbar love episode before ending up as a thriller. Traversing through the life of emperor Akbar and princess Jodhaa, JA has all the ingredients of making it big worldwide.
Jellaludin Mohammed Akbar (Hrithik) is forced to marry a Rajput Princess Jodhaa to restructure the political disarray in the empire and thus proves a point to the religious bias which was then in a very ominous state as it is now. This doesn't go down well with the other Mughal protagonists including his brother in law Sherrafudin who wanted to attack "Dilli" with the help of Jodha's cousin Sujamal. The film suddenly takes a twist and starts to focus on the swaggering journey of the lead pair and their love life. Well, it's a treat to watch Hrithik where he steals the screen with his sheer presence. Watch him on that scene where he reveals to Ash that he is illiterate or that scene where he tames an elephant or even in the climax scene where he rips the villain aided by some thunderbolt action scenes.
The film's other main highlights are undoubtedly Rehman's refershing tunes and timely background score, Kiran Deohan's magical camera placings the battle scenes are proofs, Gowariker's skillful direction watch out for that beautifully choreographed sword fight between Hrithik and Ash. Talking about Aiswarya, she is at her best in JA and surprisingly enough, she has carved out a terrific performance as the loving begum of Akbar. The lead pair just carry from where they left in Dhoom2 and both of them need a pat on their backs for etching out such wonderful on-screen chemistry. The support cast are adequate with none of them failing to live up to the script. The first half needs some trimming as there are too many subplots which one may find as overdose of emotions yet I found those easier than taking my eyes off Shehenshah, Hrithik.
The film picks up extremely well in the start of the second half, where Akbar goes to Jodhaa's house for a reunion after she was shown his back for an allegedly fabricated sin on her part. Akbar, repenting on his decision, choose to tie up the loose ends on his post-marriage session. In these scenes, Hrithik and Ash complement each other well enough that they succeed to hold the movie together. Meanwhile, Akbar needs to face Sherrafudin to avoid anymore bloodshed for the fight of Delhi and Agra which forms the rest of the movie.
As always, Gowariker's song picturisation is commendable especially the Azeem-O-Shaam song in which people from all over Hindustan praise Akbar for his down to earth behavior and benign attitude towards the poor. Sumptuous sets and lavishly thrown out costumes are some features of the song. The love-saga of Jodhaa and Akbar move in fine lines and are self explanatory by a long way which is good as the audience won't get fagged up by heavy doses of stressful dialogues. Coming to the controversial part, to be very honest, I don't give a damn about a film-maker interpreting history as long as he keeps you interested in a 210 mins marathon run. If some people are so much worried about history, then why can't they preserve it or document it rather then waiting for someone to make a film and then to start cribbing on it? It's extremely disheartening to see the film not being screened in Rajasthan and MP for some reasons which are made to be sensitive rather than being one.
In every possible way, Jodhaa Akbar is a fruitful and engaging love story and I strongly recommend people to watch it atleast once if not twice. There are just too many reasons for not to ditch this film. Ashutosh Gowariker after Lagaan and Swades has gone places with this howling tale of love which would go down as one of the best movies ever made in Indian Film Industry......
Rating : 4.5 / 5