Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jodha Akbar = FAIL

Osiris 83 here -

I honestly cannot comprehend why the hell did so many so called (and maybe self proclaimed) critics of our country, who are nothing more than pretentious bastards and fan boys belonging to certain camp (SRK camp, Amitabh camp et al), lauded this movie as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘path breaking’.

The hype machine started spewing praises ever since Mr. Gowarikar announced this project. Then came the music release followed by the delay. The release finally happened and with it came the controversy-wagon with the movie getting banned, Rajputs protesting, historians playing the dick waving contest and what not.

I somehow managed to get the tickets after 2 weeks of the release. More than the historical accuracy I was interested in seeing Mr. Gowarikar’s metamorphosis as a director or rather, a storyteller. After watching the movie I am left disappointed.
The movie actually started with a few disclaimers or maybe waivers which clearly said that this is one of the ‘many’ interpretations of the Jodha-Akbar story. Alright, I have no issues with that. I don’t even care if those messages were put after the bickering began.
In case anyone is wondering, this is not a review of the movie. I’m just going to mention what I found appealing and what I did not.

- Hritik’s performance in a few scenes. He can be a good actor at times. There were glimpses of brilliance throughout the movie, no doubt about that. I went with a certain prejudice but I stand corrected. Well done.

- The sets and costumes. This is probably where they pumped in the maximum cash and it came out well.

- Aishwarya!! In all the seriousness of this world, she is old, get over her. No, she is not at all looking ‘ethereal’ plus she has an ugly waistline.

- The war scenes were, in one word, ’stark’. Again, no, I’m not expecting anyone to render LOTR-esque C.G.I enhanced battles but c’mon there were like 300? … 500? … people in the Mughal army as shown in the movie. There could have been more but it certainly seemed very less. I’m not very profound when it comes to identifying the lenses used for shooting so I cannot tell if it was because they used wide-angle lens instead of telephoto or whatever. It looked bad … how bad? There were roughly 10 times more people watching India vs Sri Lanka at the stadium (on a weekday, in Australia) … that bad.

- The one-on-one sword fights were crap. The slow-mo sequences look conceited.

- Glycerine. Probably the majority of the budget went towards glycerine. Every time there is a scene which requires an actor to cry, notice the eyes. Bloodshot!! As if they are riding high on a high dose of purple-Jesus-acid.

- Music – Ok, its not bad, its not good either. Very average.

- Screenplay – Everyone knows its a three and a half hour movie. My flat-mate puts it as ‘Jodha Akbar aur Rubber’, obviously emphasizing on the length … no hidden references to any contraceptives here. There was absolutely no need to accentuate on the Jodha and Maham Anga (Ila Arun) and I’m particularly referring to the scene where Jodha, apparently, invades the kitchen. That scene is simply unadulterated saas-bahu drama. - FYI Maham Anga was Akbar’s nourishing-mother, his real mother was alive and well.
I get it, its a romantic movie based on the depiction of Ashutosh Gowarikar. Oh, really? Mr. Gowarikar, sorry but your depiction is punctured with clich├ęs.
The scene where Akbar does his pyaar ka izhaar, oh why was that scene shot that way? I don’t know if I’m a hopeless romantic but Akbar’s love life, as per this movie, is super-corny.

There have been so many comparisons with Mughal-E-Azam where Jodha Akbar has been favoured. Not in my book though.
Again, I stress that I don’t want heavy duty production values. Just that why does every other movie has to be ridden with these banal sequences? An assassination attempt, Akbar is on the verge of dying, Jodha prays, a divine light shines, ab ye khatre se bahar hain … bloody hell.
If it is about Jodha Akbar then why the hell it cannot be a simple story? If it is a political allegory then why those feckless sub-plots that do nothing but murder the whole aspect of the story? Why was the narrator (Amitabh Bachchan) used so scarcely?

*throws hands in the air*

1 comment:

Satyam said...

i beleve it would have been more appealing if it had been released with its original title - Chodha Akbar [**** Akbar],that is what it is........