Gautaman Bhaskaran
an indian journalist
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© Copyright 2004

 

Indian Cinema

Cinema In General

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Pans & Tilts…Jodhaa Akbar, Bachchans on stage, Sanjay Dutt, Amisha Patel…

Ashutosh Gowariker’s “Jodhaa Akbar” has understandably led to protests. The most important argument against it is its historical inaccuracy. Was Jodhaa really Akbar’s wife? Was she not his son Jehangir’s? In an interview to the IBN television channel, Gowariker said: “I think the History books are probably leading to that confusion. The more the History books, the more different names that are being attributed to Raja Bharmal's daughter. There are several names. So when I started my research even I was quite taken aback that no historian meets eye to eye because each historian does his own interpretation and analysis and presents history. So when you have six different names going for that princess, there are at least three who call her Jodhaa Bai. And on the other hand you have someone like Satish Chandra saab who has written Medieval India, which is the book that everyone in Rajasthan is referring to. He talks about the daughter of Udai Singh, also known as Mota Raja, who was given to Jehangir. Now he mentions that her name is Jagat Gosain. I also think that there is a difference between Jodh Bai and Jodhaa Bai. So the confusion is within the History books”

But, my contention is that Gowariker has not claimed anywhere that he made a historical document. It is a story, a love story, between a young Akbar and very young Jodhaa

that has its origins in Mughal history. I think we should view the film on this line.

Now, some others complain that the movie is silent on Akbar’s huge harem and the Nine Gems in his court that included prankster, Birbal. The film is already nearly 210 minutes long, and any more inclusions would have meant a still longer movie.

I think Gowariker has rightly focussed on romance, and left the other things out. I may have my reservations on this aspect. But that is quite another thing.

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Shakespeare said “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players…”. But this July, the stage will be Bachchans’, and the players the Bachchans themselves. Amitabh, Abhishek, Jaya and Aishwarya are planning a road show of sorts, travelling to Europe and North America, performing live. Jaya may not be on stage, but will be part of the audience cheering the trio as they play and perform.

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Poor Sanjay Dutt has always had problems. The latest, his marriage to manyata has been put on hold because of her residence certificate. The couple had a civil marriage in Goa. Also, Sanjay’s sisters have not been too pleased with this marriage. They were conspicuously absent when the two had a social marriage in Mumbai. But I wonder why they had to have a civil marriage in Goa.

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Tailpiece: Actress Amisha Patel has split with long-term boyfriend, Vikram Bhatt. Now she has begun shouting from her rooftop that she is single and ready to mingle. Any takers?

(Webposted February 22 2008)