Disclaimer: The review contains some spoilers. Don't read this if you are very interested in watching the movie and are looking forward to it.
Had gone to see this movie with some expectations. Expectations were quite a few from the mega budget movie with a wonderful actor – Hrithik playing the lead and an oscar-nominated director – Ashutosh Gowarikar at its helm. I had also braced myself for reality aka disappointment so as to get the expectations in check. :) To add to that, I am not an Aishwaryaa Rai fan. None the less I went to see the movie expecting a beautiful love story. I was ready to disregard any historical errors that crop up. As the name suggested, it was to be a love story between a guy and a girl – Akbar and Jodhaa, who just happened to be emperor of India and a rajput princess respectively. And that’s what Mr.AG had been promising us - a love story and not a history lesson. At the very beginning, the movie claims this too – i.e., it’s a love story between two individuals to the point of even playing down the importance (and the controversy - this is another matter that our highly intolerant mentality still made an issue out of it) around the queen’s name.
The movie than criss-crosses between the life of the emperor and the rajput princess. Aishwaryaa looks beautiful in the part but that's why she is there in the first place. :) The princess is betrothed to a rajput prince(I will never understand why they make such characters so ugly looking.. maybe they dot want the girl to get tempted to stay and not leave the poor guy), whose father breaks off the engagement. The plot, with a slow pace and loads of unwanted scenes, webs together the marriage of politics between the two. And now starts the movie that Mr.AG had been promising us and took a really looooong time to come to. The journey that Akbar and Jodhaa make together has been conveyed well. The loathing/fear(on Jodhaa's part) and curiosity(on Akbar's part) gets gradually transformed into mutual respect -to- attraction -to- trust -to- love. And the direction of these scenes are brilliant. You can feel their feelings for each other change and gradually evolve into a deep bond. There are a lot of unforgettable and beautiful scenes in the movie:
- The scene where Akbar sees the face of his new bride for the first time. Hrithik is just amazing in this scene with his expressions showing us everything he is supposed to be feeling. I have fallen in love with him all over again. :D
- The scene where Jodhaa puts her two demands to Akbar in order to agree for the marriage. I somehow thought she expected him to refuse and I loved her reaction when he indeed agrees.
- The sequence where she prepares food for her husband and is asked to taste the food first to ensure that its not poisoned. I loved Hrithik's expressions in this scene. It's like 'oh. comeon let me eat first.. i would prefer that I die rather than her if it is indeed poisoned'. You can see his anxiety in there.
- The immediate sequence where he asks that he will eat from the same plate that jodhaa had used.
- All the small scenes taking place when 'jashn-e-bahara' song was playing. Especially liked the one where Akbar is trying hard to 'listen-to' his dai-maa's lecture :)
- The scene where Akbar asks his gaurds to throw his evil cousin from the terrace is also good. It shows us his anger and capability to be cruel if need be.
- The sword practice where Akbar is showing off his toned body well aware that Jodhaa is watching.. ;-)
- The sword-fight sequence between Jodhaa and Akbar when he is in Amer to take her back with him. It reminded me of 'The Mask of Zorro' :)
- The scene just before this is also good. The verbal fight that they have when they are in their chamber.
- Liked the scene where Jodhaa writes her hubby's name and he confesses on being illiterate.
- The fight in the end between Akbar and his brother-in-law, a straight rip-off from troy. It was good none the less.
Even though there are some really beautiful scenes in the movie, the presence of the n+1 unwanted, poorly scripted and acted scenes just make it unbearable. If I start jotting down the ridiculous scenes in the movie, it will take me quite a few days and LOADS of words, so I am gonna just leave it out. If the movie had remained true to its name, it would have made a gr8 romantic movie. But Mr.AG seemed undecided whether he wants to make a romantic movie or a historical one. In the end, he ends up making neither. There were so many scenes that could have been so easily deleted thus giving respite to the viewers too. At a length of some 3hr 20 min, it was tooooo long. All the more heightened due to the weak screenplay and flow of the plot. I was actually waiting for the interval to come (it was all too late coming 120 min after the start) and then for the movie to end.