Monday, May 12, 2008

Jodhaa-Akbar (2008)

Two kingdoms unite
Sharafuddin will not die
How can love bring peace?
Jodhaa Akbar is a lovely movie. After being chastised by a few readers for so negligently allowing a full three months to pass without chasing down my BwBF's latest movie, I hustled on down to a new market to pick it up. (Dude only charges $2 and you can keep the film a week!)

Unfortunately, watching J-A allowed me to realize just how ridiculously shallow my tastes have become inasmuch as Hrithik is concerned. Sitting through 2+ hours of him looking stately without a single dance move was more than I can bear! *No booty shaking? None?!* I mean, I know he was supposed to be the Emperor and all but couldn't he do a little somethin' somethin'.....for the Queen? *sigh*

Additionally, the circumstances of my viewing were less than optional. I had gotten some girls together for another "Bollywood Night" and had planned for us to watch Bunty aur Babli. Then, at the last moment I thought Om Shanti Om might be better since I still haven't seen it yet. When it wasn't available I added on Jodhaa-Akbar instead. Foolishly, I let the newbies pick which film they'd rather watch based on the dvd covers. Wowed by the intricate costumes and a "princess story," they chose the historical drama.

After the bazillionth nobleman was introduced and the gazillionth hint of betrayal was shown, a few people's eyes started to glaze over. I've obviously seen a fair share of Indian films but I only have a fuzzy idea of Indian geography and the people groups in each state. I kind of get the religious conflicts presented but most of the other girls didn't. It was definitely not a good "first film."

Then there was Sharafuddin. I'm not the first blogger---and I certainly won't be the last---to comment on crappy subtitles but golly gee whittakers this was the worst I've seen in a while and THE worst film to have bad subtitles on. J-A has a cornucopia of peripheral characters and they don't have nice modern names like Pooja, Raj or Ali. The point being that Sharafuddin was a central character to the plot and due to craptacular subtitles, EVERYONE had gotten it into their heads that he was killed in the first half of the movie only to discover he was quite alive and preparing a large, sinister coup d'etat right around the time Akbar finally 'gets some' from Jodhaa---also a major plot element, but far easier to follow. ;)

Still, for all my complaints, the cinematography was flawless. The production values were INSANE. (I heard there were 1,000 extras for one of the songs and it sure as heck looked like it.) Doing a film with that level of opulence in the US hasn't been feasible for years. The costumes were designed by the fabulous Neeta Lula (Devdas). And of course, the director scored two of the most beautiful actors in the universe.

Bottom line, the film is good...heck, it's great. It just requires your full attention.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

At last!But I'm kinda dissapointed about ur review.I mean,not a single comment on Hrithik's performance? He was fabulous in this movie.At least,u could discuss about his bare-chested scene!By the way,since u couldn't give ur full attention,its ok.Even I have watched the movie 5 times in theater.And each time,I just Loved it!And the music...one of Rahman's best works. Picturisation of In Lamho Ke Daman is my favorite.Poor Abhishek. Aishwarya looks so beautiful in Duggu's arm :-).
Agnila

t-hype said...

"Poor Abhishek. Aishwarya looks so beautiful in Duggu's arm"

With this I can agree! I just watched Dhoom2 again last night and all I could think was 'wow'. They're both SO beautiful. I love Abhishek but he's much more 'the boy next door.'

As for Hrithik's performance, in my opinion he's always been great even when he doesn't have great material to work with so this, to me, seemed like more of the same.

A bare-chested scene? I really wasn't paying attention! Do you mean when he goes to the Queen's side of the palace to "work out"? That had us all giggling!

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with u, t-hype.But I don't like Abhi.Why he and his family "ordered" to Yash raj to cut down the lip-lock scene between Ash-Hrithik?So mean.But after watching JA I was so surprised! Hrithik again touched Ash's lips(with his lips of course)! And that is after her marriage! Well, I'm not complaining ;) . The "work out" scene where Ash secretly observing him was my favorite.I never thought anyone could look so handsome in those costumes and moustache.I hate moustache.
Hey,u told the movie was 2+ hour.But it was 3 hour 20 minutes. Haven't u seen the whole movie?
Never mind my english.I know It's too poor.
Ahir

Anonymous said...

Yeah, unfortunately, Hollywood folks nowadays spend their millions on CGI instead of extras, props and sets. I think we may have turn to Bollywood for the Ben-Hur style films - it's a lot more realistic and jaw-droppingly visually awe-inspiring than computer-generated images.

Free Hindi Songs said...

Hey Hollywood is still on number 1...