February 26, 2008

Jootha Akbar - The eternally crappy movie

Let me get one thing straight before I end up writing this piece. I have never seen a movie that is so unbelievably crappy in my entire life and I think in the next filmfare awards this movie wouldsurely win the award in all the following categories, "Meaningless", "Crappy", "Worthless", "Waste of time" and the most coveted of all "Waste of Money".

It requires courage, prowess, patience, aptitude, knowledge, passion and of course, loads of currency to attempt a movie like "Jootha Akbar".

I heard the movie costed a whopping 40 crores to make. Oh, come on, when you have so much money to blow, I suggest Ashutosh should have probably given it to some charity organization. That would have atleast made some needy, innocent and homeless people happy. Because at the end of the movie, the only happy faces that I saw were of those who were glad the movie (read junk) was over.

Ok now here is my review on "Jodha Akbar".

Set in the sixteenth century (Yawn), Jodha Akbar is supposedly a love story between a mughal emperor (Akbar) and a Rajput princess (Jodha). But unfortunately this movie is all about disturbing outfits, and extremely weird topis. The jewellery apparently is specifically designed by Tanishq!!!

Ashutosh Gowariker, I think has a thing to start all his movies with the voice of Amitabh Bachan. A map of India drawn by a 4 yr old just five minutes before the actual shoot captivates the audience from the very beginning.

Some scenes from the movie in no special sequence, order, style or class:

1. The war sequence- What the??? The aerial shot of the battlefield (with 20 people in weird armour, weak horses and baby elephants on either side) set the tone for the film. Popular movie review websites and critics compare this scene with the initial battlefield scene from Troy. You must be Shi**ing me!!! Apparently the casting crew couldn't find enough people for the scene at the time of the shoot and most of the crew who didn't have any work that day also dressed up and were a part of the scene.

2. Hrithik taming an out-of-control elephant. It’s hair-raising. - For the elephant maybe. Cheap graphics and over acting from the supporting cast ensured a hearty laugh for a select drunk few at the movie hall. In an interview given on a popular channel by the director, he says that to get this shot in the best possible manner, Hrithik was made to sleep in the same shed as the elephant for ten days. At the end of the ten days, the elephant could identify the snoring sounds of Hrithik and his bowel movements. So everytime they had to shoot this scene, Hrithik would secretly produce those sounds and the elephant would then ACT like its about to beat the crap out of Hrithik, but only the crew know that the elephant, Hrithik and the entire unit would watch WWE every day to practise those deadly moves.

3. Hrithik's Naked torso act- Ok. Hmmm.. actually, errr, we have received information from valid sources close to the director that this scene was requested by Ash. Apparently that was the only day Junior B was not present in the sets and she was to have actually done another scene of her sitting in front of the Krishna Idol praying and singing bhajans. Since she got bored doing that, she requested Ashutosh to have Hrithik remove his rather long sherwani? that he keeps wearing throughout the movie and do a little show for her (and yea to all the female fans) Apparently this particular scene has received tremendous support and fan following from the pubs down in Brighton.

4.The confrontation between Ila Arun and Ash at the kitchen- Ila Arun shouldn't be talking. Maybe she should have been made to walk in and out of the frame with those big round eyes. Her eyes were more expressive and venemous than her lines. The huge vessels in the scene were again a major source of entertainment for the drunk friends. And thanks to this scene, the "Elephant Actor's Association" had called for a strike and didn't come for the shoot for one week. They felt that they were fed less than the humans.

5.The immediate sequence, when Ash is asked to taste the food herself by Ila - This scene makes you wait eagerly to see who eats the most. The expression of the supporting actors are laughable. The scene kept going on and on and on and on... Made a lot of people in the movie hall extremely hungry, since by then the time was already 1 in the morning. (and still no sign of an intermission in the near future).

YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Finally a couple of scenes later Ashutosh must have realised its been a really long since these guys are sitting on their butt and he was kind enough to stop the movie with more torture to follow very soon for a short intermission.

6.The sword fight the very next morning, between Hrithik and Ash - I think Mr. & Mrs. Smith is an all time favourite movie of Ashutosh. The chemistry, between Ash and Hrithik was disappointing. Maybe Junior Bachan was present at the sets. Ash reportedly used to practise lifting the sword more than actually performing any stunts with that. Hrithik on the other hand has this extremely stupid smirk everytime he would come close to Ash during the stunt.

7.The Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah track- Hmmmmmm. Long. Very very long. Just like the movie.

8.The fight in the climax- Ok. I think Ashutosh spends a lot of time watching Hollywood movies. I think he wanted to shoot the fight like the sequence between Brad Pitt and Eric Bana from Troy. The point being WANTED to. But it was miserable (like the entire movie).

Ok now moving on to more stuff from the movie. This is a review of Jootha Akbar, it's going to be long (just like the movie) so kindly adjust.

A.R. Rahman’s music...Ah, this I think I would enjoy writing about. Rahman's background score for the movie is the only saving grace of the entire movie (ok, now wait a minute.. that's a compliment) I think I could say the background score was decent and not laughable. Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah reminded me of Michael Jackson wearing an Olodum T-shirt and doing weird groin movements. Jashn-e-Bahara is a song with decent lyrics and tune,but please buy the sound track seperately if you need to enjoy the song, because the song has been butchered to bits with its strange picturisation. The execution of Khwaja Mere Khwaja is the one part in the entire movie that I enjoyed the most. I was rolling on the floor laughing. It's supposed to be a scene where a bunch of Sufi singers perform before Akbar. There are totally four people who sing the song in the video and all of them sing in the same voice (A.R. Rahman's voice). The main vocalist (in the video) has a nose that would surely BLOW you away in every sense. I have absolutely no clue why the cinematographer kept zooming in on his nose (which were pretty strange) the whole time in the video. They were tilted in a 45 degree angle and if you actually looked at the screen a little closely, you can infact see the hair inside his nose. The expressions of the supporting actors in the song were....errrr..STONED? I still have a major doubt what Ashutosh must have briefed them while shooting the scene. Ashutosh if you are reading this, I would like to tell you that am a great fan of your movies and your directing & storytelling abilities, (Swades, Lagaan.. they were nice movies) but what in the lords name did you tell the actors? And for all Hrithik dance fans this is the only song in the movie where he dances (atleast does something).

Certain aspectss of the movie I feel could have been done better:

1. Direction
2. Storytelling - Screenplay
3. Acting
4. Casting
5. Cinematography
6. Editing - Especially the parts where graphics have been used and actually in chopping the movie.
7. Stunts
8. Art Direction

Have I missed anything?

On the whole, Jodhaa Akbar is, without a shred of doubt, The WORST HINDI MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN IN A REALLY LONG TIME.

Some important tips to people who still want to watch the movie:

1. Never, I repeat NEVER watch this movie on a sunday night. You won't be able to wake up on monday morning to head to work.
2. The perfect movie for young couples on two counts. One, there won't be people in the movie hall and two it is really long. You could easily sit and discuss America's political situation.
3. Never go to a movie hall where the movie is screened on the second floor and above. Chances are you might want to jump off during the movie.
4. Never take your kid to the movie. Chances are he/she would hate Indian History.

But after all this I would have to say one thing more. I surely enjoyed the music that was playing in the men's loo.