Jodhaa Akbar (2008)

Not Rated   |    |  Action, Drama, History


Jodhaa Akbar (2008) Poster

A sixteenth century love story about a marriage of alliance that gave birth to true love between a great Mughal emperor, Akbar, and a Rajput princess, Jodha.


7.6/10
27,650

Videos


Photos

  • Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
  • Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
  • Aman Dhaliwal in Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
  • Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
  • Ashutosh Gowariker and Aman Dhaliwal in Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
  • Hrithik Roshan in Jodhaa Akbar (2008)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


19 February 2008 | akbarnali
8
| "Jodhaa Akbar" : Paro Grows Up, But She's Still A Little Girl (Oh, and Thank Goodness for Subtitles)
Ashutosh Gowariker's "Jodhaa Akbar" is the most ambitious film to emerge from Bollywood's stables in quite a while. Based on the historical alliance between India's greatest Mughal emperor and a Rajput Hindu princess, Gowariker models his film on the Shakespearean mould of palace intrigue with its collection of warring power brokers, plotting princes, distant queen mothers, bitchy but loyal eunuchs, and concubines galore. It's also something of a gamble: Gowariker has never treaded the historical epic in his earlier features, especially one about India's first attempt at religious pluralism. The results are mixed but laudable, largely because the script adheres to the golden rule about bringing historical episodes to film: know the history, but print the legend.

Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Pocahontas were all real people whose life stories have been told and retold in popular Hollywood films, each retelling adding and embellishing elements of the story which have helped the stories attain the status of pseudoreligious myth. India certainly has a rich history of quasi-historical legends: Anarkali, Heer-Ranjha, Umrao Jaan, Devdas, and now Jodhaa-Akbar.

Let there be no doubt: this is not a documentary nor do the filmmakers make any overt attempt at a documentary characterization of Akbar. History tells us that he was a unique and even megalomaniacal emperor: he had many wives and untold numbers of concubines in a harem which (depending on which account you believe) included a few male lovers, invented his own religion in which he was divine, and held court with atheists, Jews, and Jesuits, a practice which would become decidedly less common with future emperors.

Hrithik Roshan puts up what is probably his best performance as Akbar, though he is hindered by the sheer volume of activity making up the plot: an absent queen mother, sinister foster mother, devious brothers, and, above all, a reluctant wife, all demand his attention. Roshan is at his best when Akbar is wooing a banished Jodhaa and when he ventures off into his kingdom; in many ways, Akbar remains a symbol of tolerance and benign authoritarianism throughout—despite the fact that he is the one who sets much of the narrative's action into play, surprisingly few scenes give us insight into his inner workings; the opposite is true for Jodhaa.

In the last decade since Aishwariya Rai was introduced to movie-going audiences, she has grown tremendously as an actress. "Jodhaa Akbar" is not her best work, but it offers ample evidence of her growth along the spectrum of Paro-type roles she has enacted since Bhansalli's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" : Nandini of "HDDCS," Paro of "Devdas," the eponymous Umrao Jaan, and now Jodhaa are essentially different interpretations of the same feminine archetype: a Lady Beloved of the Legends, who, having been robbed of all agency because of her gender, comes to embody beauty, suffering, fidelity, and, of course, love.

Nandini was a flighty romantic, Umrao Jaan a forlorn romantic, and Paro a languishing fool who settled for survival when love literally slashed her away. Jodhaa is decidedly not romantic, being that she is an emblem of her family's honor. She is given away as a peace offering to an emperor who demands alliance and submission only to find that he wants to become her ally in love.

Rai plays Jodhaa as a torn victim, but she is not without her own inner steel: she sets her own conditions for marriage, challenges palace customs, and steps on more than few royal toes along the way, notably those of the unforgiving Maham Anga. She's not as wishy-washy as Paro or as flirty as Nandini, but she is undoubtedly cut from the same cloth. And speaking of cutting, she's first rate in the five-minute sword fight between Jodhaa and Akbar, a scene which goes from swordplay to foreplay.

Rai is slated to play Anarkali opposite Ben Kingsley's Shah Jahan in an upcoming film and has yet another role as the pining courtesan in Bhansalli's next, "Bajirao Mastani." Normally, I would accuse her of self-typecasting, but it seems that filmmakers themselves are unwilling or unable to see her differently. Jag Mundhara did with "Provoked," extracting an emotionally naked performance from her which is without question her finest work to date. Will others be as daring to cast her in similar light? Probably not.

The film works best when the narrative focuses on the interaction between its two leads who are more similar than they perhaps ought to be: both are icons of physical beauty, sexuality, and glamour, but thankfully this has been tampered down by Gowariker's interpretation of the characters. True, Akbar probably didn't have Roshan's sinewy physique, and Jodhaa (whose existence continues to be challenged in certain historical readings) probably couldn't write in Arabic and likely never set foot in a kitchen. But such considerations are immaterial when you're telling a love story.

The other striking thing about the film is that for non-native Hindi and Urdu speakers, the dialogue is virtually incomprehensible without the subtitles. The old fashioned Urdu recitations are especially difficult to ascertain, though sometimes the subtitles only further your confusion. One line in "In Lamhon Ke Daman Mein" which is literally translated as "Beauty is imbibed in cherished blandishments." What???

Gowariker makes a valiant attempt at a film that is war epic, love story, and costume drama all in one, but never does "Jodhaa Akbar" approach the charm or finesse of "Lagaan." The main flaw with the film is that it is overly ambitious: Akbar may have been a polymath, but there's no way a single film could encompass all of his endeavors. Gowariker's script strays into too many quarters looking for the historical Akbar and ends up offering what is an unfortunately shallow characterization. Jodhaa, conversely, has less to occupy her and is more clearly defined.

And so in the end it turns out that "Akbar the Great" is, in celluloid terms at least, "Akbar the Pretty Good."

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

Guzaarish

Guzaarish

Lakshya

Lakshya

Agneepath

Agneepath

Koi... Mil Gaya

Koi... Mil Gaya

Krrish

Krrish

Kaabil

Kaabil

Dhoom 2

Dhoom 2

Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai

Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai

Mohenjo Daro

Mohenjo Daro

Krrish 3

Krrish 3

Bang Bang

Bang Bang

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Did You Know?

Trivia

A team of 250 stuntmen and 5,000 extras were used for all the battle scenes, which were filmed for 20-30 days at a stretch.


Quotes

Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar: I don't understand?
Jodhaa Bai: No, you don't! You know how to wage war and conquer. But do not know how to rule.
Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar: What did you say?
Jodhaa Bai: That you have only conquered me, but not won my heart yet... you should have at least tried to know what really happened. But the...


Goofs

In the scene where Maham Anga raises the issue of food-testing by the chef, she says to Akbar and the royal courts men... "Khud Jahaanpanah is baat par inkaar-e-harf nahin utha sakte," meaning "The emperor himself doesn't have the privilege/authority to raise objections on this issue." The actual phrase is "Harf-e-Inkaar." Harf meaning letter/word/point and Inkaar meaning "denial/objection." The "E" in such phrases is the Persian/Urdu style of addressing possessive forms of words. The order of the words was erroneously reversed, which changed the meaning of the sentence! Harf-e-Inkaar = Word of objection, Inkaar-e-Harf (wrong!) = Objection of word... (doesn't exist).


Crazy Credits

Some titles in the end credits have images from the movie which represent the certain department:

1)For choreography a screenshot from the song "Azeem-o-shan Shehensha", which shows the dancers.

2)For dialogues, screenshot of Jodhaa's letter to Sujamal.

3)For music, screenshot from the song "Azeem-o-shan Shehensha", which shows the drummers.

4)For production design, the fortress.

5)For costumes, screenshot from the song "Azeem-o-shan Shehensha", which shows Jodha and Akbar standing together.

6)For stunts, a battle screenshot.

7)For editing, screenshot of Jodha and Akbar's swordfight, with theirs swords overlapping and forming a scissor shape.

8)For religious consultants, screenshot of Akbar's meeting with the scholars.

9)For jewelry, screenshot of Jodha with Nelakshi in the back, right after the wedding night.


Soundtracks

Jashn-E-Bahaaraa - Instrumental
Composed by
A.R. Rahman
Courtesy of UTV Music

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Drama | History | Romance | War

What to Watch: "Mrs. Maisel," "Vikings," and More

Save yourself from endless browsing with our list of top TV picks for the week, including a 16-time Emmy winner, the final season of "Vikings," and Scarlett Johansson's latest film.

Watch our video

IMDb's Holiday Gift Guide

Get gifting with IMDb's Holiday Gift Guide, curated with the entertainment lover in mind!

Browse our gift guide

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com