The movie was released in the year 2008. Would like to start with a disclaimer. The original historical facts may or may not match with what people have been taught or heard about Abu’l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad. With the entire history in hand and polygamy that existed (now a day’s affairs or hook ups) from an emotional perspective may not give a good view about most of the kings in India or any man/woman for that matter. No one wants to be with someone who has eyes on everyone or hesitate to tell that they are taken. It is not about right or wrong. It is about constructive or destructive scenarios created. These days’ people have affairs because they are emotionally damaged. Those days it was official avoiding political damages most probably.
Debating for facts when it comes to history could possibly be a waste of time ending up in “Varalaaru miga mukkiyam amaicharae” moments. Something similar to asking questions like ‘Why it has to happen only to me?’, ‘Why was I disrespected by so and so?’, ‘Why someone can’t be empathetic?’, ‘What will happen after death?’ We the people do have the right to question but answers don’t come and for some questions it is better not to get answers. And in the process of finding the answers we mostly stand drained at the end of the endless tunnel.
Above all, digging much on such stuffs might lead to something like ‘Naan dhan Jodha Akbar, in my previous birth. Enga dhan enaku prasavam paathanga’, like the one that came in Vijay Tv long back. It is okay to get into technical details and analyze what is fact and what is fiction but within tolerable limits. So if someone feels they were Jodha or Akbar in their previous birth, movie isn’t responsible for the imaginations like ‘Chandramuki ya ninna, Chandramuki ya nenachu kitta, Chandramuki ya maarina’.My mother always warns. Watch a movie. Remember, it is just a movie. Absorb only positive out of it.
So, beyond the history, Ashutosh Gowariker would have done a fantastic job in capturing all the emotional moments of a forced marriage with someone from a different cultural background. Also on screen showcases the beautiful bonding between a Brother and a Sister. Staring Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai and Sonu Sood in the lead roles the movie is a treat to eyes and takes to Mughal period. It is a long time wish to write something totally romantic line by line which is totally practical with less fantasy; Accompanied by blissful ARR musical and rich rani costumes. Guess, with the running age qualified to write one.
This movie is of that kind. Could question the plot, in what way does it speak about something called true love. Don’t know. But the plot is about love. (this post doesn’t support polygamy though). A Crazy Little beautiful thing Love. The one that many people fail to acknowledge or accept. Akbar and Jodha lead different life styles and political marriage is fixed. Jodha is being used as a pawn. Not sure whether the original Akbar treated her with so much respect. Ashutosh’s Akbar is truly a gentleman.
The way she cries and sings ‘Mana Mohana’ tells it all. No one dares to understand her situation expect the lord. “Tum bin kaun samjhaye” suits for any situation in life. Invigorating lyrics from Javed Akthar. He is another proof that religion isn’t a barrier for souls which contemplate on the supreme power be it Allah or Krishna. His songs sound like Kabir ke Dohe, Rahim ke Dohe. Purely divine. Awesome rendition by Bela Shende and a spectacular composition by ARR.“Khwaja Mere Khwaja” is another divine composition about the glory of god, beautifully penned by Kashif. People get lost on hearing such compositions, Akbar isn’t an exception.
As Jodha and Akbar start their marital journey going through emotional upheavals, Jodha starts to fall for his bravery and organization skills. Akbar starts to fall for her feminine nature and individuality, someone traditionally trendy in that age. Despite coming from different cultural backgrounds, respect plays a pivotal role in their relationship. With mutual respect and admiration which are the key factors in any relationship, Jodha and Akbar starts to work on their relationship where equal efforts come from both sides.
The scenes where Akbar learns to worship Hindu lord; from behind the transparent curtain Jodha sees his sword practice and he knowingly shows his valour to his wife but it isn’t with an egoistic pride but with little shyness and lovely pride, attention that any husband likes to receive from his wife and silently enjoys, that happiness that a husband gets when seen, call it sight adichufied by his wife is a breeze. While Jodha starts to cook for him, tastes and tells about siridhalavu uppu says about the efforts from her side, a sweet reciprocation. All beautifully shows the mild romance on screen just like a breeze.
More or less that is the kind of love, which isn’t passionate and not head over heels but practical, slow, steady and detailing which actually forms a strong foundation. That is all one can do, no it takes two to tango. That is all two can do in such difficult marriage. But both accept things beautifully and show willingness to work on their relationship. As Akbar’s foster mother Maham Anga starts a smear campaign against Jodha Bai, which Jodha ignores initially but Maham Anga goes to an extent to separate the two by pulling events from past.
People appreciate about Devasena for her stand. Jodha Bai remains unsung. When false charge is proclaimed she doesn’t bow down to it. But stands tall against it and moves away as her respect is at threat. Another beautiful characterization is the character of Hamida Banu Begum. Where she points out the mistake of her son and tells the reason behind Jodha’s letter to her brother. Akbar accepts the mistake from his side, chooses love over ego, goes and convinces Jodha bai. That sword fight between the two beautifully tells that “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals.” (~Pema Chodron.) Choosing Self-Love between Self-Love and Self-Obsession in a relationship makes love bond stronger, strengthening the emotional boundary and the relationship radiates compassion and love for the other in abundance beyond the passionate urgency of being in a relationship. And it goes to “In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein”.
Sujamal. That’s a heavenly character, spectacularly portrayed by Ashutosh. Subtle dialogues on him from Jodha during the sword fight and his love for his sister when he receives the letter and in the climax his stand when he comes to know the truth says all. It is a blessing if one has a brother or cousin or a guy friend with whom one can feel the brother from another womb like Sujamal. One is likely to envy Jodha bai if one doesn’t have a cousin like him.
An ARR musical, greatest strength to the movie. Why this film isn’t nominated for Oscar while ‘Jai Ho’ got one is a million dollar question. So is the lyrical treat both in Hindi and Tamil. Of all, costumes play a huge role while making such historical movies. Dedicated, devoted and highly commendable job from Neeta Lulla. She schematically designed clothes by providing yellow, orange and red colours for the Rajputs and gold, brown and beige colours for the Mughals. Keeping in mind the grandeur of the Mughal Empire during Akbar’s time, Lulla used the Zardozi and Kundan types of embroidery for Roshan’s and Rai’s dresses. The fabrics for designing the costumes as well as the shoes were bought from Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur, while authentic embroidered Mojaris were used for footwear.
Having covered all the aspects that were noted, I wished to pen down on this historical romance specifically relationship, costume design types take away, the final touch comes from Na. Muthukumar. We seriously miss you on the depth of love that you bring about in your lyrics. Your romantic numbers speak volumes and will stand for the coming years. Jodha Akbar is nothing but the romance that blossoms beautifully out of a strained marriage. And,
“Kettathume marakkaatha mellisaiyum avalthaane
Athan pallavi charanam purinthum mounaththil nindren
Oru karaiyaaga aval irukka maru karaiyaaga naan irukka
Idaiyil thanimai thalumbuthe nadhiyaai
Kaanal neeril meen pidikka kaigal nianaiththaal mudinthidumaa
Nigazhkaalam naduvil vedikkai paarkkirathe”
with flute BGM and heavenly rendition by Srinivas sumps the love depicted in the movie.
Reference: On costumes and about the designer from WikiPedia.