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Last night I saw “Jodhaa Akbar”, an epic movie from renowned director Ashutosh Gowarikar. Starring Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan, the movie is an absolute must see. The cinematography and story telling in the movie are absolutely spell binding. The movie takes you back 450 years in history to the time of Emperor Akbar. The story revolves around a rajput princess named Jodhaa bai and her marriage of alliance to Akbar, a muslim emperor. Jodhaa’s father, King Bharmal of Amer seeks the alliance with the mughul emperor to protect his subjects from the wrath of the emperor’s powerful army in his quest to become ruler of India. Jodhaa is resentful of her father for fixing her alliance with a muslim emperor for political gains.

The movie beautifully weaves the story of an hindu princess and her life as the wife of mughal Emperor Akbar. The movie starts from the time when Akbar was just 13 years old and was suddenly entrusted the responsibility of the entire mughal empire. There are magnificent battle sequences that seem like they are from epic Hollywood movies such as “Troy” rather than in a Bollywood movie. There are awe inspiring aerial shots of the magnificent forts of India. On a recent trip to India I had visited the Agra fort and never knew it was so huge and magnificent until I saw this movie. The sets, jewelry and the period costumes take you back in time to that glorious period in history. The music by A.R. Rehman is lilting and the dance choreography is stunning. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and felt there was never a dull moment. Many have however, criticized the director for adding unessential story lines which made the movie 3 hours and 20 minutes long.

The story of Jodhaa and Akbar has also been challenged by historians as fictional. According to experts, Akbar had three historians appointed in his court, each of whom have chronicled that time period and there is no mention of Jodhaa. The movie has been banned in Rajasthan due to fear of riots by Rajputs claiming to have been insulted with the depiction of an alliance between Rajputs and the mughals out of fear. There are other claims that Jodhaa was in fact Akbar’s daughter in-law and not his wife.

Even with all these controversies, I truly enjoyed the movie and thought it was an amazing sensory treat!

Watch the theatrical trailer:

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