Jodhaa Akbar - Notepad

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?) - But, watch it in theaters, if you must!
quick review:

Painstakingly made but painfully long. The history and politics is interesting but the teachers seemed to be in a rush to cover the course material. What we do know now though, is romance 450 years ago was same as it is now. It is a visual treat nevertheless.

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Warning: this section has some details that could distort your experience while watching the movie. I strongly recommend reading this only after you have seen the movie or if you have decided not to see it.

Plot Summary

Mughal emperor Akbar (Hrithik Roshan) marries Rajput princess Jodhaa bai (Aishwarya Rai) for political advantage. They gradually fall in love with each other. This love story is presented with a backdrop of the political environment of the 1500s.

What Worked

  • Use of Hindi Shlokas instead of Sanskrit during a pooja.
  • Use of wide-angle lens to make the tents look bigger than they actually were.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • I highly doubt Rajasthani women wore transparent saris for their blouses to show from 500 years ago!
  • Even today you will find Rajasthani mothers-in-law wearing the biggest veils before their sons-in-law! And here you have Rani Padmavati (Suhasini Mulay) with no veil at all!
  • Urdu diction of the some of the side characters - the words didn’t flow, they sounded very forced.
  • Suhasini Mulay's (Jodhaa's mother) acting - at two points, at least, it was difficult to tell whether she was crying or laughing!
  • Expression on Hrithik Roshan's face just before he gets up in the "Khwaja" song. It seemed like he was praying for it to get over, where as he actually was going into a trance!
  • Punam Sinha's (Akbar's mother) dialogue delivery.
  • Cliched symbolism of dark clouds going over the moon!
  • Jodhaa's mother had come with a plan for her to escape from the wedding. Why was she then also ready with poison? Did she not believe in her plan? Was she so desperate? If so, how come she had no major role to play in her daughter's life later?
  • The silly made-up custom of having to recognize your wife from scores of women. What a rubbish excuse to build drama/romance.
  • Why was the assassinator waiting to be spotted by Akbar's men?
  • The whole religious equality speech - sounded more like an attempt to get the movie tax-exemption!
  • When Jodhaa's brother didn't trust Jodhaa, why did he risk his life for her husband!?
  • Why wasn't Jodhaa's brother being given medical attention and was being presumed to die?

Nitty-Gritty

This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Are elephants really that easy to tame?
  • The way Jodhaa was shown around the palace - it sounded like a guided tour.
  • Jodhaa didn't taste the daal-baati!
  • The dialogue that Jodhaa's father says on Akbar's arrival to Amer "aan-baan ka chandrama" what is that supposed to mean!?
  • When did Akbar get the plate of flowers ready during the sword fight?
  • The special sound effect added to the maulana's voice.
  • Jodhaa's brother was hindu, he would have said, "sadaa sukhi raho" not "sadaa khush raho"