Nearly a decade ago, Ashutosh Gowariker made his ‘other’ brilliant period saga. While Lagaan remains etched in everyone’s memory for its Oscar nomination, it was Jodhaa Akbar that established Gowariker as a Bollywood mainstay after the debacle that was Swades.
Gowariker did not pull any punches, as he went for broke with a 40-crore budget, and two actors who absolutely looked their part of Emperor Akbar and Jodhaa bai. He also had the Mozart of Madras with him, who composed a score that was worthy of the splendid sets and the gorgeous production design.
The film, not only underlined the political leanings that the alliance represented, but it also captured the slow burn with which this ‘alliance’ transformed into a ‘meaningful relationship’. The beautiful sets were perfectly complimented with the odd moment of tenderness between the Badshah and his Malika-E-Hindustan. Like the one where he prefers to eat from the same plate as his better-half, and how he sheepishly confides in her that he cannot read.
Jodhaa Akbar remains a love story, which could very well be the modern era’s Mughal-E-Azam. Okay, not quite but this is the closest anyone has come. Both Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat don’t count.