Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jodhaa Akbar in Zurich

On the 16th of Feb, we enjoyed Ashutosh Gowarikar's new epic "Jodhaa Akbar" in Zurich. A particular cinema, that seems to have some ties with Indian movie distributers was screening it for a few days. The same cinema had already screened "Welcome" in past.

Before the movie was released, we have seen quite a few reports about the movie's correct depiction of historical facts about the emperor Akbar and his Rajput wife Jodhabai. It was so clear that people were trying to gain publicity out of nothing. People and groups that nobody has ever heard of were now on TV news talking about history and correctness or incorrectness of the movie's depiction of historical facts.

This is typical of populists in India. Give them anything that can be cashed upon, and they will. Arranging demonstrations, publishing press releases, breaking stuff at cinema halls screening the movie and what not.

I am no historian, but ever since I remember, we were taught in history classes in schools that Akbar married a Rajput princess "Jodhabai" in order to start diplomatic relations with Rajputs and avoid un-necessary bloodshed. It was depicted as a rather intelligent trait of the ruler.

I dont quite know where did they get to know something different about Akbar or Jodhabai and are furious upon.

Now, given all that background of weeks before release of the movie, the antipication was high. At times I feel that the movie produces try to enrage such sentiments in people, just to get their movie the same sort of anticipation that I felt. It gives a feeling to people, "Lets see this movie, what the hell is all this agitation about".

As it turned out, the movie is a result of brilliant effort. Being a costume drama set in a different time slice, it was always going to be difficult for the director to produce the same feelings and effects of that time. However, in my personal opinion, he came out pretty good. The movie has great visuals, fantastic costume design and the two lead actors, Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Roy, have not given their director anything to complain about.

At 3 hours 30 minutes, its a bit on the longer side of movie spectrum, but we didnt fell bore in there. Perhapy it was relatively easier for us since we knew certain parts of historical facts, but otherwise also, the movie is pretty engaging.

Congrats to Ashutosh Gowarikar on such a nice movie. :)

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