Movie Review: JODHAA AKBAR (2008)
I dislike Aishwarya Rai (Bachchan). Her popularity far outweighs any credible talent she weilds as an actress. So this review will be a painful one for me. As much as I like Hrithik Roshan as an actor, his period piece JODHAA AKBAR failed to impress me. Here is my Movie Review…
Blank Page Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
JODHAA AKBAR was supposed to be about the historically epic love story of Mughal Emperor Akbar and Hindu Rajputi Princess Jodhaa. What the movie ends up being is that, as well a historical war epic treading along the lines of TROY, but without a shirtless Brad Pitt in a 3 some.
After LAGAAN, seems like Director Ashutosh Gowariker was stuck on this period film kick, which continued with 2010’s KHELEIN HUM JEE JAAN SEY, another horrible piece of crap. But JODHAA AKBAR suffers most when it goes against it’s title and spends a lot of time with story elements which have nothing to do with the love story.
Sure, I understand having to round out a story with multiple layers, but this one was more of a love story sandwich, than a well rounded film with ample helping of unnecessary situations. The first 40 minutes we’re treated to a lot of exposition, history of the young boy that becomes Emperor Akbar, conflict with other regions, growth of the kingdom, etc etc. All riveting stuff actually.
Where the screw up happens, is when all of this political and war-like conflict sub plots, get completely buried for the next 1.5 hours of the love story part of the movie. Akbar and Jodhaa meeting, their courting, their marriage, their falling in love, etc. It’s the bulk of the movie, as it should be. However after we’re treated to the meat of the story, we return right back where we left off with the closing off of the other subplots opened in the beginning.
This type of compartmentalizing storytelling felt very detrimental to the entire experience of JODHAA AKBAR. It was literally done by the book with Plot A in the beginning. Plot B in the middle. Then we return to Plot A to end the movie with closure. Factor in that the entire movie was unneceesarily too long and it’s not an enjoyable experience.
JODHAA AKBAR is by no means a bad movie, it’s just not a great movie. Hrithik Roshan’s performance as moustache clad Akbar is great. He’s commanding, badass and his royal old school Urdu dialect is done to perfection. Then you have Aiswarya Rai, who, like most of her movies, didn’t do much, and was otherwise fine.
The writing and dialogue is where the movie excels. The intellectual swordfight of words between Akbar and Jodhaa during their initial ‘I hate you now, but will love you after a song’ routine is done pretty well. Every one liner is crisp and delivered amazingly by both actors.
JODHAA AKBAR itself was a good story and an attempt at proper execution. But I would’ve like the narration to go back and forth a bit, instead of just telling two different stories, one after the other.