Sunday, March 20, 2011
Bollywood worth watching: Ashutosh Gowariker's spectacular JODHAA AKBAR
TrustMovies is watching Bollywood? Of his own accord? And more than three-and-a-half hours of it -- in a single sitting? (Two sittings, actually. He took a few-hour break between his breakfast and lunch-time viewings.) The reason? To see more of two of the most beautiful actors -- face and body -- at work today: Hrithik Roshan (of the recent Kites) and Aishwarya Rai (of The Last Legion, The Mistress of Spices and Bride and Prejudice). Instead of fast-forwarding or giving up midway, he actually finished the film in a state of sated pleasure, for the movie, as much as any he's seen, puts the "ollywood" in Bollywood -- and does so in a manner that might make Cecil B. DeMille proud.
JODHAA AKBAR, from the fellow (Ashutosh Gowariker, shown at right) who gave us the Oscar-nominated Lagaan a decade back, contains just about everything you could ask for in historical spectacle -- except of course true history. But that's the last thing we'd want in a movie like this. Instead we get glamor and gold aplenty, battles large-scale and small, love, devotion, betrayal and comeuppance, all handled in a smart, efficient manner that allows them to spread out across a vast canvas that will solicit our ooohs and aaahs, but also pass fast enough to make those three-and-a-half hours, if not fly by, at least move with surprising speed.
rental or sale, and the Blu-ray, incidentally, is a stunning transfer -- the best I've so-far seen (granted, I'm new to Blu-ray) with the exception of Criterion's The Leopard.