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72 out of 109 people found the following review useful:

Tremendous movie. A visual treat.

10/10
Author: Mahesh Koneru from Singapore
15 February 2008

There are good movies. And then there are great movies.But very few are truly epics. I can very confidently say that Jodhaa Akbar is going to be an epic.

Do not be daunted by the 195 minutes runtime of the movie. At no point in the movie will you be aware of the time. The performances put in by Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai,along with the ethereal music provided by A.R.Rahman and the stunning costumes by Neeta Lulla are going to blow your breath away.

No Indian cinema has ever evoked such a strong mixture of emotions in the audience as this one. Each and every frame of the movie is a treat to the eyes. There is richness and grandeur in every aspect of the film.

'Jashn-e-bahara' and 'Khwaja mere Khwaja' are superbly shot and executed songs. And then 'Azeem oh Shan Shahenshah' is one song that will remain etched in your memory long after you leave the theater.

The scenes where the Emperor Akbar tames the wild elephant and the sword fight between the royal couple are truly memorable. The battle sequences are captured very well.

The initial mistrust between Akbar and Jodha bai and the subsequent budding romance are handled brilliantly.

Hrithik is superb as the Emperor Akbar and I doubt if any actor of his generation could have handled this role as well. And Aishwarya Rai as usual looks stunningly beautiful.

All in all, a tremendous movie and I am going to strongly recommend this to all my friends.

Thank you Ashutosh for Jodhaa Akbar.

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55 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

What Can Be Said? Except Excellent

10/10
Author: Pratik Jasani from United Kingdom
19 February 2008

Swades was released in December 2004 and since then, this project was said to be considered by the director, Ashutosh Gowariker. The director of movies such as "Laagan" and "Swades," has once again left no stones unturned and proved that he is also capable of directing a movie related the colossal personality - Akbar the Great, also known as "Jalaludin Mohammed Akbar." A young Akbar, sets out to conquer Kingdoms and those who don't join him, are brutally executed but after a while he begins to pardon them and that's when many of his opponents begin to realise that they had and have, misunderstood him. One particular Rajput Raja Bharmal, instead of facing the Moghul's mighty army, decides that it would be better that his daughter, Raj Kumari Jodhaa Bai, who is be throned to another Rajput Prince, marries Akbar. The couple do unite in marriage but only after Akbar agrees to the two conditions which the Rajput Princess has put forward. At the same time, he has to win her heart as well as to look after the interest of his public.

Jodhaa Akbar, which stars Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Khulbhushan Kharbanda, Suhasini Mulay, Digvijay Purchit and Punam S. Sinha, is a romantic, biographical and historical movie, which is set in a era of revolt, conspiracies and war. It also deals with intercaste marriage, which at the time was not heard off due to the fact that when the Mughals invaded India, the Rajput Princesses and Queens became Sati when their husbands, the Kings were killed in battle so as not to be captured and, or, forced to live with the Invaders.

Hrithik Roshan, son of the director and producer, Rakesh Roshan and nephew of the music director Rajesh Roshan, was offered this role as the director, Ashutosh Gowariker, who had seen him in "Koi Mil Gaya." believed that he was capable of doing justice to this part and also because of his physique. His natural choice for the lead of "Jodhaa Bai" was Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, not only just because of her beauty but talent as well. He has proved to be correct with the cast - brilliant as they have done justice to their respective parts.

This is a well written story by Haider Ali, and co written, directed and produced by Ashutosh Gowariker, which has gone into great details with research and choosing sites for filming. The cinematography, by Kiran Deohams, is excellent and some cases breath taking. The music, by A.R. Rehman, is pleasant and suits the genre movie and the songs, though a few, are good as well and especially the wedding night song. The costumes and jewellery, which I am sure that a lot of the members of the audience, will be looking out for, designed by the famous Neeta Lulla, is elegant. The stunts and the fight sequences, which are well timed, and though they look dangerous at times, are worthwhile watching. In one scene, where Akbar is seen fighting an elephant, actor Hrithik Roshan did get injured but continued with the filming. His injuries were related to those of when he was filming for "Krissh." But really pushes the fight and stunt sequences, is the special effects by Pankaj Khandpur, which are worth to watch.

Conclusion: This movie has all the ingredients to become a classic, epic movie in the future, even though it is three and a half hours in duration. It is worth it.

For those interested in a bit of gossip. Hrithik Roshan, who has been offered to work in some Hollywood movies, may not have to go over to in at least one of them. The reason being is that actress Penelope Cruz, may be working with him in a yet untitled Bollywood movie, which is said to be directed by his father, Rakesh Roshan. Could it be that this is just the beginning of a merger between Hollywood and Bollywood? I wonder! Elsewhere, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, is soon to be working in a movie with the "Mahatama," Ben Kingsley, with whom she has worked with before, in an English version of "Taj Mahal." It seems like that she can't keep away from the family.

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44 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant

10/10
Author: shivak-1 from United States
18 February 2008

A timeless classic. Full marks to the director and the cast.

Hrithik is perfection personified as usual. This would be Ash's best performance till date as she does not giggle needlessly or overact at any point.

The supporting cast has done a great job too - especially Punam Sinha and Nikitin. A slight regret is that Sonu Sood should have had a stronger personality for his background, but it is does not impact the movie in any way.

The music is endearing. It will catch up on you as you listen to it a couple of times.

Avoid watching pirated online versions and go watch it in a theater. A pirated version simply cannot capture the grandeur of this movie.

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28 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Jodhaa Akbar is a well made love story and war based film

8/10
Author: pavanpratury from India
20 February 2008

Jodha-Akbar is a motley of exceptional love,Terrific Action,Soulful music and splendid cinematography.It is one of the most uncommon films and a must see one if you want to witness something special.The film got combative stunts and it has everything to please everyone.But on the other side,the film is slow and lengthy.The first half of the film lasts more than 2 hrs yet the twists and turns will glue the audience to the cinema.Hrithik was awesome as Akbar and Aishwarya was majestic as Jodha.Direction was at the best.Ashutosh proved yet another blockbuster which falls in the same line of Lagaan and Swades.May be he need to concentrate on the duration of the film by chopping off few scenes.Jodha Akbar is basically a love story instead of calling it as a War based film.The film lacks pace and slow narration of few scenes and the frequent usage of Urdu language made the audience ambiguous and also boring.But at the other end,even though the film lasts for more than 3.30 min,it is gripping enough and very much bearable.The Director need to edit the film and make it as a 3 hrs film so that the audience will like this film even more.The huge star-cast of Hrithik-Ash playing as Akbar and Jodha might have evoked a lot of curiosity among the audience before the release but i must admit the film almost lived up to the expectations.The love part was dealt exceptionally well and it is the forte for the film.The film depicted the Legacy of Akbar.The film also shown that Akbar did lot good for Hindus. I don't feel,the film will hurt any religion sentiments.The director did an excellent job in maintaining the balance.A R Rahman's background score was very good and music is freshy.And adding to that,the picturisation of the songs is spectacular.Especially Azeem-O-Shaanshahensha,it is definitely one of the best ever pictured songs in the history of Indian Cinema.Overall, a film worth watching.

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35 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

"Jodhaa Akbar" : Paro Grows Up, But She's Still A Little Girl (Oh, and Thank Goodness for Subtitles)

8/10
Author: akbarnali from United States
19 February 2008

Ashutosh Gowariker's "Jodhaa Akbar" is the most ambitious film to emerge from Bollywood's stables in quite a while. Based on the historical alliance between India's greatest Mughal emperor and a Rajput Hindu princess, Gowariker models his film on the Shakespearean mould of palace intrigue with its collection of warring power brokers, plotting princes, distant queen mothers, bitchy but loyal eunuchs, and concubines galore. It's also something of a gamble: Gowariker has never treaded the historical epic in his earlier features, especially one about India's first attempt at religious pluralism. The results are mixed but laudable, largely because the script adheres to the golden rule about bringing historical episodes to film: know the history, but print the legend.

Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Pocahontas were all real people whose life stories have been told and retold in popular Hollywood films, each retelling adding and embellishing elements of the story which have helped the stories attain the status of pseudoreligious myth. India certainly has a rich history of quasi-historical legends: Anarkali, Heer-Ranjha, Umrao Jaan, Devdas, and now Jodhaa-Akbar.

Let there be no doubt: this is not a documentary nor do the filmmakers make any overt attempt at a documentary characterization of Akbar. History tells us that he was a unique and even megalomaniacal emperor: he had many wives and untold numbers of concubines in a harem which (depending on which account you believe) included a few male lovers, invented his own religion in which he was divine, and held court with atheists, Jews, and Jesuits, a practice which would become decidedly less common with future emperors.

Hrithik Roshan puts up what is probably his best performance as Akbar, though he is hindered by the sheer volume of activity making up the plot: an absent queen mother, sinister foster mother, devious brothers, and, above all, a reluctant wife, all demand his attention. Roshan is at his best when Akbar is wooing a banished Jodhaa and when he ventures off into his kingdom; in many ways, Akbar remains a symbol of tolerance and benign authoritarianism throughout—despite the fact that he is the one who sets much of the narrative's action into play, surprisingly few scenes give us insight into his inner workings; the opposite is true for Jodhaa.

In the last decade since Aishwariya Rai was introduced to movie-going audiences, she has grown tremendously as an actress. "Jodhaa Akbar" is not her best work, but it offers ample evidence of her growth along the spectrum of Paro-type roles she has enacted since Bhansalli's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" : Nandini of "HDDCS," Paro of "Devdas," the eponymous Umrao Jaan, and now Jodhaa are essentially different interpretations of the same feminine archetype: a Lady Beloved of the Legends, who, having been robbed of all agency because of her gender, comes to embody beauty, suffering, fidelity, and, of course, love.

Nandini was a flighty romantic, Umrao Jaan a forlorn romantic, and Paro a languishing fool who settled for survival when love literally slashed her away. Jodhaa is decidedly not romantic, being that she is an emblem of her family's honor. She is given away as a peace offering to an emperor who demands alliance and submission only to find that he wants to become her ally in love.

Rai plays Jodhaa as a torn victim, but she is not without her own inner steel: she sets her own conditions for marriage, challenges palace customs, and steps on more than few royal toes along the way, notably those of the unforgiving Maham Anga. She's not as wishy-washy as Paro or as flirty as Nandini, but she is undoubtedly cut from the same cloth. And speaking of cutting, she's first rate in the five-minute sword fight between Jodhaa and Akbar, a scene which goes from swordplay to foreplay.

Rai is slated to play Anarkali opposite Ben Kingsley's Shah Jahan in an upcoming film and has yet another role as the pining courtesan in Bhansalli's next, "Bajirao Mastani." Normally, I would accuse her of self-typecasting, but it seems that filmmakers themselves are unwilling or unable to see her differently. Jag Mundhara did with "Provoked," extracting an emotionally naked performance from her which is without question her finest work to date. Will others be as daring to cast her in similar light? Probably not.

The film works best when the narrative focuses on the interaction between its two leads who are more similar than they perhaps ought to be: both are icons of physical beauty, sexuality, and glamour, but thankfully this has been tampered down by Gowariker's interpretation of the characters. True, Akbar probably didn't have Roshan's sinewy physique, and Jodhaa (whose existence continues to be challenged in certain historical readings) probably couldn't write in Arabic and likely never set foot in a kitchen. But such considerations are immaterial when you're telling a love story.

The other striking thing about the film is that for non-native Hindi and Urdu speakers, the dialogue is virtually incomprehensible without the subtitles. The old fashioned Urdu recitations are especially difficult to ascertain, though sometimes the subtitles only further your confusion. One line in "In Lamhon Ke Daman Mein" which is literally translated as "Beauty is imbibed in cherished blandishments." What???

Gowariker makes a valiant attempt at a film that is war epic, love story, and costume drama all in one, but never does "Jodhaa Akbar" approach the charm or finesse of "Lagaan." The main flaw with the film is that it is overly ambitious: Akbar may have been a polymath, but there's no way a single film could encompass all of his endeavors. Gowariker's script strays into too many quarters looking for the historical Akbar and ends up offering what is an unfortunately shallow characterization. Jodhaa, conversely, has less to occupy her and is more clearly defined.

And so in the end it turns out that "Akbar the Great" is, in celluloid terms at least, "Akbar the Pretty Good."

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35 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

An Amazing Film...truly OUTSTANDING!

10/10
Author: light107 from Canada
18 February 2008

I can't digest that people would protest this amazing film. People need to respect that there are alternate versions of history, and the director states that in the credits from the beginning. If people had some sense, they would respect the integrity of a person committed to bringing history to film with utmost dignity and respect. Those people clashing an protesting the film are idiotic!

The 3 hours flew by because the story was captivating. The actors were amazing, especially Ila Arun...Sonu is also a revelation. Aishwarya was just right! A talent that needs to be recognized, Ash showed how amazing an actor she really is. Hrithik was equally amazing as Aishwarya. I don't understand why there is such sexism in Hindi cinema, the males always get their critiques or praises first and then the females. Well Aishwarya is first here! The music was simply well suited and appropriate. I want A R Rehman to continue being brilliant! That's an order! The director has proved himself yet again that he is simply the best there is in the world of cinema...HE makes South Asians Proud!

I would recommend this film to anyone.

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26 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

great cinematic experience

10/10
Author: ikaatar from Kenya
21 February 2008

Greatest movie ever seen on the big screen!!The performances are nothing short of fantastic .Hrithik Roshan becomes Akbar and not once do you feel you are watching Hrithik on the screen. He is beyond brilliant and carries the film on his broad shoulders throughout. The way he emotes and delivers his lines shows that he is a super performer. This easily has to rank as the best performance of his career.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan matches Hrithik and delivers a wonderful performance as well. she looks ethereal — a compliment she has heard a trillion times before. What's new in that? But watch her emote in this film. Although she does not have as many lines to deliver or have as much screen time, she still makes you sit up and take notice of her through her extremely expressive eyes. She emotes superbly with them and it only enhances her performance. This will go down as one of her career best performances. Also, the Hrithik and Aishwarya chemistry is as flawless as ever. They sizzle every scene they are in together.

My advice to the audience is to not miss Jodhaa Akbar because doing so would be a huge mistake. It is a masterpiece and a definite must see. Don't miss it!

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20 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Hrithik & his chemistry wish Ash are amazing, but story drags!

8/10
Author: Vikas SS from Mumbai, India
18 February 2008

Period films, when well made are a visual treat. Right from the likes of Mughal-E-Azam till the recent Jodhaa Akbar, these flicks have the power to transport one back in time to relive those ages. What might disconcert many viewers of this genre is the excessive directorial license used by some movie makers to blur lines between fact and fiction. Nevertheless, I would still say that Jodha Akbar is a great effort and a well made film!

Based on the popular folklore, the story is about young Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Mohammed (Hrithik) getting wedded to the princess of Amer Jodha (Aishwarya), a match arranged for political gain. But, little do both know that this marriage would spark off a fiery romance in the backdrop of young Jalal metamorphosing into an all powerful Emperor Akbar thwarting pressures from family,religious heads & administrative issues.

As such, the story neither has a beginning nor an end that any average moviegoer would look for. In fact, there is a little bit of everything. You can find romance, action including both human and animal duels, large scale wars, songs, great looking lead pair, and most importantly, the opulence and glorification of Akbar’s reign. But, it wouldn’t qualify as a documentary either, since the concept of Jodha in Akbar’s life is in itself fictitious.

The highlight however, is one man who stands out the most in the movie, Hrithik Roshan who has once again proved his star prowess. His talent and hard work is visible in every frame that he is in, be it romancing Jodha or on the battlefield. You would really believe him to be Shahenshah-E-Hindustan (Emperor of India). His shirtless scene with the sword and the sparring contest between the lead pair are extremely praiseworthy.

The Hrithik-Ash chemistry seen in Dhoom 2 has not just been continued here but has taken to a different level altogether. Aishwarya made a great choice to play a proud and defiant princess. The chemistry and the directorial genius can be seen in scenes where Akbar acknowledges his ignorance to read and write, his confusion when offered arati, the sparring and scenes when the couple have their private moments.

With a three and a half hour runtime and lots of sub-plots, Jodha Akbar at times, seems dragged. A tighter script chopping off at least half hour from the film could have helped. The songs, Jashn-E-Bahaara, Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah and the sufi Khwaja mere Khwaja stand out. If not a blockbuster, the movie will definitely go down in history as a well made movie. Recommended for a very patient audience only!

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29 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

I cannot say for certain, I liked this part of the movie or that part. I will go back to see this movie one more time.

7/10
Author: Harpreet Singh from India
14 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie is made on the scale of a classic, but it falls short of the mark because it needs crisper editing. On the whole, it surely leaves a mark! No doubt.

I am not a historian, so I cannot mention how accurately history was depicted in the movie; but the feel of the movie – ah, the feel! – is surely something that takes you to that Era. The clothes, the sets, the jewellery! Let me get rid of the flaws first: Ashutosh Gowariker is not an action director, so the battle scenes and even the action sequences lack panache – when they could have been executed brilliantly – especially since Hrithik Roshan can do action fabulously well. The first battle scenes are reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings, down to the swinging of the swords in linear movement, much like the Elves did when the Orcs attack. The march of the elephants is much like the Mumakil that come out to crunch the riders of Rohan in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Some of the lesser character actors have terrible dialogue delivery. And in most cases, the dialogues themselves get weighed down by verbosity – and surprisingly, the characters who speak Hindi sound more uncomfortable with it then the ones who have to deal with Urdu diction.

Sonu Sood who plays Sujamal, Jodhaa's cousin, enacts his part with restraint and he kept reminding me of a young Amitabh Bachchan. Suhasini Mulay as Jodhaa's mother, Padmavati, is apt for the role, in fact, her stature was wasted in Lagaan and Ashutosh finally casts her perfectly. Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Jodhaa's father, Raja Bharmal, does what he did in Lagaan. This felt like an offshoot of the same character he played there.

Nikitin Dheer who plays Mirza Shariffuddin Hussain has done a good job for a newcomer and he suits the role of a solid warrior who thinks Akbar unfit to rule. Mrs. Punam S. Sinha, who plays Akbar's mother, surprisingly carries off the role with poise – despite a strong accent in her voice that interferes with the use of the Urdu dialect. But Ila Arun performing the role of Maham Anga is someone to watch out for. Her intensity vibrates from the screen as she plays power games with the new woman in Akbar's life. The jealousy she exudes is almost tangible and the pathos of the character's end is touching indeed – she truly deserves a reputable mention.

Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan is – well, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan. She fits the role because she is usually stiff and aloof. If anyone was to play a queen she would be it – so her role was well-cast. She has worn brown contact lenses for the role, which shows that Indian film-makers are now thinking of certain details that need to be thought about.

Though I am a fan of Hrithik Roshan, I felt that the role of Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar did not suit him to a tee – like say, for instance, a Krish or an Aryan Singh. I cannot pinpoint the reason for this, maybe it was the bad moustache sitting above his lips, or maybe because I never pictured Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar to have such a beautiful body. Maybe. But I did say, 'did not suit him to a tee' – which leaves me room to add further, that he tried his best and that shows in his acting. Also the director's vision was to show the Mughal Emperor as a sensitive soul and that is what Hrithik evocatively brings about either in the vulnerability he portrays, while apologising to Maham Anga, or the passion tinged with restraint he exhibits when dealing with his distant wife.

The cinematography by Kiran Deohans is fabulous. The scope of most shots is all-encompassing – but somehow the feel of an epic lags behind. The feeling that one gets is something that closes inward rather than something that opens outward. And in some scenes, the lighting could have vastly been improved upon. Neeta Lulla's costumes are fabulous, too – and the jewellery provided by Tanishq is awe-inspiring. They, combined, bring about the look and feel of the movie more than what actually should be created by the story, the actors and the director.

What touched me most within the entire movie was the picturisation of the song "Khwaja Mere Khwaja". It was completely surreal - the melody and rhythm in this Sufi song mixed with the pristine costumes and depiction of the scene completely enraptured me. Much like the character of Akbar, I felt like standing up and joining the singers in this moment of rhapsody! Truly a delight! Apart from this, I cannot say for certain, I liked this part of the movie or that part. They are parts which have been put into a whole and made coherent, somehow; but yet, I will go back to see this movie one more time. I feel it is a movie that needs to be viewed more than once in order to grasp the different nuances that are spread throughout. It ebbs and flows with its own life and at places, the creators of the movie themselves lost control over it, and that is noticeable. But one cannot blame them for that for that is the wont of any creative process. Although perfection comes when restraint is used over unnecessary unravelling and digression.

In a way, I am glad that the director hasn't used much restraint within the movie, because it would kill this feeling of 'je ne sais quoi' that flows through my enjoyment of this movie.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Very definitely a love story

10/10
Author: mollidew from United States
20 October 2008

As an American I knew little of this story or Emperor but had heard of the Moghuls. It doesn't matter if it wasn't exact because it is based on a happening. The movie is for entertainment so it doesn't have to be exactly historically correct. It was not a documentary. Both of the leads were absolutely excellent in their roles. I was very impressed and especially by Hrithik Roshon. He is an excellent actor. I know little about the Bollywood movies but this one mesmerized me once I figured out how to turn on the subtitles.

I really liked the humor that was added to this movie. The part with the sword fighting and the irony of what how she lost to Akbar was funny. The line where he reminds her he is her husband going along with the sword fight. Many eye contact gestures between the two that were so touching and at times comical.

I really loved the Sufis and their singing in the movie. It was a nice blend of action, and romance. I like the fact they kept it in good taste and did not dwell on bloody battles or steamy love scenes between the Princess and the Emperor when they finally admitted their love for each other. It got the point across very romantically but tastefully and you don't see that much anymore in most movies. Kudos to those who made this great, great movie. It is well worth anyone's time to watch. It is an opulent and very enjoyable movie.

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