[Linked from jadhavchetu‘s Flickr photostream]
I know I said I’d talk about Dhoom 2 next, but Jodhaa Akbar so completely eclipses it in every way that I’ve got to move on.
I can’t stop watching this movie. It is four hours long, and I watch it straight through every time. Intermission? Intermissions are for those with weak bladders.
Put simply, this film is about the Mughal ruler Akbar the Great, or Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar, son of Babur. Actually, that’s not entirely true. It’s sort of half and half about him and his Hindu wife, Jodhaa Bai (there’s a lot of speculation about her – whether or not that was her name, whose wife Jodhaa Bai actually was, where she lived, etc.). In the tradition of all elaborate costume dramas, the story is overblown and dramatic, the costumes are fabulous, and there’s a lot of scenery chewing. It’s like all the stuff I love about Jane Austen screen adaptations, only in Hindi, with saris and men with really fabulous facial hair.
And as most of the films I like go, it’s got Hrithik. Hrithik fighting an elephant, Hrithik shirtless doing sword work, Hrithik looking dramatic, so on and so forth.
I was disappointed to find out that reality was not like the movie. I find this happens to me a lot. I mean, when the fantasy is a really attractive guy in fancy clothing who is sensitive but also tough and does all kinds of wonderful things for his subjects, even though he’s not a Hindu, and the reality is this guy who was sort of okay, as conquerors go, but not at all as exciting as Bollywood makes him seem, which would you pick? I’m going with spangles.
[Incidentally, as I was searching for my new obsessively Rajasthani summer SCA persona, I discovered that for a paltry $400, you can purchase a replica set of Jodhaa’s bridal jewelry. Somehow, this amazes me.]