When the name is “Jodhaa Akbar” what you shouldn’t expect is a 90 min short story. What you should expect is a condensed 52 episodes of the tale of one of the greatest Mughal Emperors, Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbar and his reign over India from the mid 16th century and the historic alliance with Rajput Princess Jodhaa Bai. And of course, this would mean the movie to be expanded beyond proportions (the length is a good 3 hrs 40 mins). But I do not have any problems with it as far as the length is concerned. More than often, epic storytelling has demanded the pace to be at ease and so is the case here. Ashutosh Gowariker’s “Jodhaa Akbar “is another edition to that list of epic movies, but does it pass the test of epic storytelling? I still have my doubts. Of course, it is easy to look at everything with an eye of criticism and just start evaluating the faults and the shortcomings, but for once, I’d stand and applaud at the sheer magnitude of the canvas that Ashutosh Gowariker has tried to paint and presented it with so many radiant hues.
Of course, we are reminded that such historical epic stories are always associated with controversies. Let’s clear this doubt: This is not a documentary. History tells us Akbar had many wives, not to mention concubines, invented his own religion Din-i-Ilahi, and was as megalomaniac as all other Mughal Emperors. But the golden rule of bringing period pieces to life remains: It is the legend which stays alive. (more…)