Jodhaa Akbar Makes a Meal
Everything about the Indian film Jodhaa Akbar is beautiful. Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, playing the lead male and female roles, are eye candy enough. Yet director Ashutosh Gowariker provides a backdrop of resplendent sets and costumes to complement an equally alluring love story. Set in the sixteenth century Mughal Empire (which spanned most of the Indian subcontinent), the film follows the tumultuous relationship between the Muslim emperor Akbar the Great and his Hindi Rajput wife, Jodhabai. Though some scholars question the historical accuracy of the film, Gowariker was almost compulsive in his attempts to portray the events in the movie as authentically as possible. According to wikipedia, he hired a whole slew of historians and scholars from all over India to be on hand and to make sure he wasn’t muffing things up.
Everything about Jodhaa Akbar is epic, too. Besides it being long, (big surprise, it’s Bollywood), the film itself is made in a big way. In another juicy tidbit from our good and faithful wikipedia, there were over 80 elephants, 100 horses, and 55 camels used to make the film. I, myself, was rather overwhelmed by the number of extras used in some scenes. My amazing powers of observation were not inaccurate. Apparently there were over 1,000 dancers alone garbed in period costumes for one of the songs. It reminds me of the good old days when the dudes who made Ben Hur used 15,000 extras for the chariot race scene. I give Ashutosh Gowariker props for making an epic movie old-school style, which is why I can say that anyone who enjoys classic epics like El Cid or Lawrence of Arabia will probably like Jodhaa Akbar, too.
So, I won’t give Jodhaa Akbar just one food to describe it’s deliciousness. I’ll give it a whole meal. Because the basic message of religious tolerance is good for you, I’ll say that the film is like salad, with a REALLY BIG steak. REALLY BIG steak is an important component of the meal, because something REALLY BIG has to make the Jodhaa Akbar meal more of a feast. Because the beauty of the actors, scenery, and costumes make it easy to watch, I’ll give Jodhaa Akbar dessert, too. Not a rich, gut-bomb dessert, but something a little light to complement everything else. How about sherbet icecream?