Jodhaa Akbar is a sixteenth-century love story about a political marriage of convenience between a Mughal emperor, Akbar, and a Rajput princess, Jodhaa. The beautiful and fiery daughter of King Bharmal of Amer, Jodhaa gets betrothed to another rajput king and her dowry was her fathers crown, which will pass to that rajput king, after his death. Through this arrangement, the son of elder brother of the king Sujjamal gets declined of his rightful throne and he leaves the kingdom angrily to join rebels. But when Mughal empire plans to attack Amer, king Bharmal, resentfully offers his daughters hand to the emperor himself to avoid war. Akbar agrees to the marriage as it would bring forward a true strong alliance and long lasting peace between the empire and rajputs.
Jodha completely resented being reduced to a mere political pawn and she wants to marry Rajput king she was betrothed previously. She writes a letter to Sujjamal, her cousin (whom she sees as her own brother) entreating him to come rescue her from the marriage, she couldnt send it though. Jodhaa shares all her misery with her mother, who tells her to send a servant girl in her place. Jodhaa replies that it would deceive Akbar and would be death to their kingdom if he finds out. Then, her mother gives her a vial of poison and tells her to use it if need arises.
After their marriage, Jodhaa acts reluctant with Akbar and they do not consummate their marriage. Akbar respects her views and lets her follow her regular religious rituals. Slowly they grow closer and Jodhas resentment for him starts to decrease. A while later, Akbar orders a feast in Jodhaas honor and she cooks for him on that day. Akbars wet nurse Maham Anga gets devastated by the death of her treacherous son in the hands of Akbar and decides to bring rift between Jodha and Akbar.
She somewhats succeeds when she sends Rakhi and Jodhas letter to Sujjamal. Akbar misunderstands that Jodha was plotting against him and sends her to her maternal home. Later he comes to know of Jodhas innocence and begs her to come back to him. She tells him to win her heart through the religious equilibrium n equal rights in his kingdom. He does so and she comes back.
Meanwhile Akbars brother plots a revolt along with rebels and Akbar gets mortally injured in the war. Jodha prays two days continuously for him and they consummate their marriage once he gets better. Later Akbar controls the rebellion and announces that every religion has its rights in his kingdom.The film received a critics rating of 69 on Metacritics, and Rotten Tomatoes has given the film a 78% rating with 7 fresh and 2 rotten reviews. Anil Sinanan of The Times gave the film four out of five stars stating, Oscar-nominated Lagaan director Ashutosh Gowarikers sumptuous period epic has all the ingredients of a Cecil B.
DeMille entertainer [.] The film ends with a passionate plea for tolerance of all religions in India, a resonant message for modern India. Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN also gave the film four out of five stars commenting: Ive never felt this way about any other film, but sitting there in my seat watching Jodhaa Akbar, I felt privileged as a moviegoer. Privileged that such a film had been made, and privileged that it had been made in our times so we can form our own opinions of the film rather than adopt the opinions of previous generations, which we invariably must when looking at older classics. Tajpal Rathore of the BBC gave the film four out of five stars, noting that, although the 16th-century love story upon which its based might be long forgotten, this endearing treatment sears into the memory through sheer size and scale alone [.
] Dont let the running time put you off watching this unashamedly epic tale. Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India gave the film three stars, stating that, Jodhaa Akbar works only because its heart is in the right place. The film talks about a love that transcends all barriers â€“ gender, religion, culture â€“ and dreams of an India where secularism and tolerance are the twin towers that should never ever crumble. And Akbar and Jodhaa are the alluring exponents of this dream. Kazmi also suggests that if you are willing to shed off all the trappings of history, only then will Jodhaa Akbar work for you.
While suggesting that the film is too long and that it is not a history lesson, Rachel Saltz of The New York Times also notes, in choosing to tell the tale of this emperor and a Muslim-Hindu love story, Mr. Gowariker makes a clear point. As Akbar says, Respect for each others religion will enrich Hindustan.
Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Ila Arun
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A. R. Rahman