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Haha -- when I see comments that put Kuch Kuch Hota Hain or any other formulaic hindi flick as "the best film ever" they obviously didn't see K. Asif's vision of Mughal-e-Azam. From Prithviraj Kapoor's magnificent rendering of the imposing Emperor Akbar to Dalip Kumar's obvious love for the spectacular Madhubhala. The exquisite Urdu dialogues is of course not for the neophyte. But for those that can appreciate the finer things in life -- not some cloying Hum Apke Hain Kaun or Shah Rukh Khan's obsession with bleeding and overacting in every single film -- Mughal-e-Azam fits the bill perfectly.
One of Hindi cinema's best known films ever, It took nine years and
enormous expense to complete this historical based in the closing years
of Akbar's reign (1556-1605). So lavish were the sets of the film that
people used to come from distant places to just see them.
The film narrates the story of Prince Salim's (later Jahangir 1605-1628) love for Anarkali, a singer. A love his father strongly disapproves of. But so strong is Salim's love for Anarkali that he goes to battle against his father. Akbar defeats Salim in battle and orders him to be executed.
However, according to the royal decree, the Salim can be saved from dying if Anarkali dies in his place. Anarkali, spunky woman that she is, however does her own thing by defying Akbar in his palace. The song 'Pyaar Kiya to Darna Kya' went on to become one of the most popular songs ever recorded and the Sheesh Mahal created for the song was a major attraction for the crowds.
According to legend, Akbar ordered Anarkali to be walled alive, but the film shows that unknown to Salim, Akbar spares her. A melodrama, rather loudly done, the film had a large star cast including Prithviraj Kapoor as Akbar, Dilip Kumar as Salim, Madhubala (Anarkali) and Durga Khote as Jodha Bai.Its watch worth.
The ostentatious look, the unforgettable music, the awesome war scenes,
superb performances, the well-known romance between Salim and Anarkalis
MUGHAL-E-AZAM will always remain as a point of reference.
After 44 years, this masterpiece has been released after reviving it in color (the original version was 85 percent black and white and 15 percent colour), with an upgraded, contemporary sound system (Dolby Digital).
The Story is about the Ruler Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor) and Queen Jodha (Durga Khote) give birth to a son, Salim, after years of prayer.
Prince Salim (Dilip Kumar) grows into a commendable combatant. Salim falls in love with court dancer Anarkali (Madhubala). Initially wary of his affections because of the difference in their positions, she soon reciprocates his love.
Akbar finds out about the affair and that creates a rift between the father and son.
It is a must see movie for every moviegoer for its pure canvass, for its majestic framing and not just for being a colorful costume drama, for its romance, for the glorious Sheesh Mahal and also for our fake filmmakers (like karan johar, aditya chopra, nikhil advani, kunal kohli and many others like them) who cannot think beyond Manhattan and singing heroes and have light years to reach this level of film-making.
MUGHAL-E-AZAM is a must for those who have seen it in B & W. Now watch it in color and experience the grandeur. MUGHAL-E-AZAM is a must for todays generation, who, perhaps, may not have watched this classic. Watch this epic and you will realize the difference between the cinema of yore and the cinema of today. MUGHAL-E-AZAM is a must for every moviegoer. Here is a prime example of pure, unadulterated cinema. 4 ½ Out of 5
I haven't seen the black and white original of Mughal E Azam since the
'80's, but I recently saw the restored revived colourised 2004
re-release for the first time and was astounded by the results. I'm not
a believer in messing around with the originals, but bearing in mind
director Asif always wanted to make the whole film in colour but didn't
have enough money the "final" product is amazing to see - such is
technology! It was incredibly expensive to make as it was, the
restoration process must have cost a fabulous amount too.
Seminal Indian epic purporting to deal with events from about 400 years ago around Prince Saleem (Dilip Kumar) falling in love with a court dancer Anarkali (Madhubala) to his father Akbar's utter opposition and eventually causing a rift leading to all out war. The drama and war spectacle scenes are memorable enough, with thousands of humans and animals as extras, and the music is uniformly superb too. But it's Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (If I have loved someone>why should I be afraid?) sung by Anarkali (Lata) to the 2 of them in the Hall Of Mirrors that is absolutely stunning - I will have to get the original and compare, because the remaster seems to have turned this song into something even more magical and mesmerising than I remembered. It took Naushad and Shakeel Badayuni one night to compose music and lyrics so timeless - a colourful piece of poetry in motion, with the insistent kaleidoscopic climax added by Asif. Awesome! According to the legend it was supposed to have an unhappy ending - needless to say I'm glad it was altered here to a happy one after such a roller-coaster ride!
A tremendous work of Art, showing the very best of Indian cinema.
When one thinks of great movies they remember the classics such as gone with the wind, Ben hur etc... but let us not forget one of the greatest cinematic triumphs of Hindi Cinema Mughal-e-Azam a film set in the times of the great Moughul Empire. Having seen both the part B/W and Colour and the remastered full colour version I can truly say that the colourised version truly brings out the true glory of this amazing classic putting it in a league way beyond the Classics of today. The dialogue is simply superb and the acting truly amazing modern filmmakers could learn thing or two about acting. The cinematography is simply stunning for a movie of its time. the grandeur and opulence of the sets really comes out in full colour. The story though not very relevant for modern times shows the views and attitudes of India's past. a truly great film to watch...
This film is by far one of the best, I have seen. One is sure to be mesmerized by the love affair, the Mughal Emperor and the India of that time. The film being in Urdu language also adds originality and aura. The dialogs and direction is superb. The voice of late Prithvi Raj Kapoor as Akbar is beyond compare. Salim, played by Dilip Kumar is one of his best known acting and film. Madhubala seems great, and I definitely feel, she rivals any modern day actress in her beauty, grace and boldness and courage. I watched the latest 2004 re-release of this film in a theater and the experience was superb. I had earlier watched the movie (earlier release) in television before, but the latest release in colour and Dolby digital sound adds to the experience. Talking about a Hindi film, one definitely has to applaud it's songs. Based on Classical music, the songs adds life to the film and are strongly linked with the story-line as well. The best part I felt as a modern gen. guy is the passion and the customs and respect towards his/her duties and elders and system. Akbar's court was also known his secular principles. He had cordial relations with Rajputs(Hindu) too with his wife Jodha Bai herself being from Rajput clan and Man Singh as the head of his infantry. The movie shows the love and emotions through powerful poetic words (dialoges). This is one of the best parts of this film. One can learn many things from this film and is sure to bring in oneself an increased understanding towards one's duties and sacrifice. A must watch for one and for all ... and do watch with keenness and each word spoken in the movie is worth it.
A true masterpiece,featuring some of the greatest actors ever to grace the Indian screen.Prithviraj Kapoor,the doyen of Indian Cinema is Akbar himself and Dilip Kumar & Madhubala both put in sterling performances There is a question as to whether the storyline was actually true but the very nature of the story indicates the level of religious tolerance that existed at the time of Akbar.Akbar's wife Rani Jodhabhai was a hindu and that was the mughal method of building bridges with their hindu subjects.The role of Akbar would really serve as a model for religious amity today.The major issue Akbar had in consenting to the marriage of dancer Anarkali(represented by Madhubala) and Prince Salim(Dilip Kumar) was the class status.After all it was the 16th century All in all,a grand spectacle which showcases Indian culture at its very best and grandest and leaves one to wonder at the relative deterioration in subsequent centuries
Mughal-e-Azam is indeed a colossal of a movie and its spell binding
appeal and courtly grandeur has been further enhanced by the recently
released color version.
Dilip Kumar, the icon of Indian Cinema and its first super star as well, has rendered complete resonance to the hedonistic persona of prince Saleem. The love travails of the myth of Anarkali have been splendidly captured on the tinsel screen through the superb portrayal by both, Madhu Bala and legendary Dilip Kumar. Besides, Pirthvi RajKapoor has also projected the required prestige and magnitude to the role of Emperor Akbar. It is worth watching, another time in color scope.
K. Asif was the Indian "Cecille B. Demille" (who was known as CB, in the industry)conceived and executed his vision on a grand Scale. There will only be one "Ben-Hur", one "Lawrence of Arabia", one "Sound of Music", one "Sangam", one "Gadar-Ek Prem Katha" and only one "Mughal-E-Azam". The grand scale is evident in the lyrical poetry set into music by music maestro Naushad, which laid the rich tapestry for this Magnum Opus. Prithviraj Kapoor, was the doyen, who started Prithvi theaters and was the patriarc of the Kapoor Clan, which included The older Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, and Sashi Kapoor. The most talented was Raj kapoor, who was the "Barnum" of the Indian Cinema. He made countless movies and everyone of them a masterpiece, but the best was "Sangam" (1963). Baritone voiced Prithviraj Kapoor, was in the same genre as Charlston Heston,Laurence Olivier and Richard Burton, an actor's actor; a style that was unique and patented. After I watched the movie after three decades, few things stood out-the ornate settings for the Madhubala's (Born as Mumtaz Begum, was married to singer/actor Kishore Kumar, and died at age of 36, from a congenital heart problem), dance sequence, the rich music, the beauty of the yesteryear actresses and the devotion of the directors to make a statement-not just a movie. For current tastes and standards("Dabaang" "Three Idiots" "Housefull 2" produced by the Bollywood suvvar scum maggots,) the movie is a drag, but for the masses in the bygone years that starved for class and elegance, this was a treat. I was not too impressed with Dilip Kumar, as young Prince, most of the time he looked distant and lost. Suffice to say he matured to be good actor ("Ram aur Shyam") in the later years. The two that carried the mantle were Kapoor and Madhubala.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mughal-e-Azam is the culmination of a dream, of a man possessed to make
this movie - K Asif. (He made only one other completed movie) He spared
no costs to produce this period drama.
For instance, the grandeur of a set for the "Sheesh Mahal" (i.e. the palace of mirrors) appears for only a few seconds in the final print, meant a lots of peculiar challenges for the cameras and lighting, it cost a fortune, but K Asif still used it.
R D Mathur's cinematography is brilliant. He used 8 cameras simultaneously, for filming the battle scenes, which are surprisingly realistic for a 1950s Bollywood movie. The close-ups of the romantic scenes are also done very well.
Dilip Kumar and Madhubala's performances and their on-screen chemistry are great. Especially if you consider the fact that they had a break-up in real life, and Dilip Kumar appeared as a witness against Madhubala in a court case!
Performances by Prithviraj Kapoor and Durga Khote might appear a bit too dramatic and overdone.
The dialogues of this movie are very poetic and crisp. (I am not sure if translations and sub-titles could do proper justice to them)
Western audiences would find this film a bit long, and then it has that compulsory ingredient of any bollywood movie - the songs. (Which are good if you understand the language and the poetry)
This is not to say that film doesn't have its flaws - to show Akbar as a compassionate king and to have a "happy ending" Asif changed the popular legend by letting Anarkali escape through the false bottom of the wall that opens out into a tunnel unknown to Salim. This defies the internal logic of the tragic love story.
But then even Ben Hur had that car in the chariot race!
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