Saturday, February 16, 2008


No, this is not a review of the film. I haven't yet seen the movie (nor any trailers), and I am not sure when I will watch it, since I don't know any place nearby where the movie is screened. These are just some random thoughts connected to the movie.

This movie will probably create a new famous Indian historical "pair", but that comes at the cost of another famous jodi. Where is the witty Birbal in the story? While Akbar has featured in not a few movies, Birbal has been ignored by Bollywood (even his so-called competitor Tansen got his own movie). Watching Akbar without a mention of Birbal is like watching Hardy with one of his on-screen crushes/fiance/wife. He may be is funny on his own, but he is not the Ollie we know and like without Stan goofing up things with him.

And Bollywood broke the famous Akbar-Birbal pair by matching him up with a fictional character. A character, who (as probably all know by now) was possibly his daughter-in-law, one of the wives of Jahangir. But that does not surprise me as much as it should. After all, Jahangir (when he was known as Salim) was paired off with another fictional character, in perhaps the most famous historical in Hindi film history.

Incidentally, Jeahangir and his son Shah Jahan defy the saying about art and life. Shah Jahan is famous worldwide for his Taj Mahal, Jahangir not so much. But on the other hand, almost all Bollywood lovers have heard of Mughal-e-Azam, while I doubt anybody remembers the fate of Taj Mahal.

And does this (third in the line) movie denote the start of a trend to convert the lives of Mughal emperors into film media? Akbar, his son and grandson are already covered. It would be hard to find any romance in the life of his great-grandson though. Although the marathi novel "Shehenshah" by N. S. Inamdar is a great one, everybody would agree that the last important Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was definitely not a romantic.

So let's go up the family tree, shall we? I am sure as the exile, Humayun would definitely provide much fodder to the creative imaginations of the Bollywood. Don't tell me you can't put a romance or two in the life of the person who spent most of his life as a refugee.

So, here's to Humayun, or rather, Jodha-Akbar, till somebody have go at the idea. Ashutosh, Sanjay, Shekhar, call me and we will discuss my fees.

- The Great Eagle Has Spoken


SiD said...

wow.. u have given a History lesson here..
a few months ago, there was a debate among friends here too - whether anarkali was real or a fiction..
The internet said there was no proof she existed...
The controversy still exists on who Jodha was!! as regards Bollywood is concerned, they treat her as Akbar's wife only (mughal-e-asam and JA)..
khair.. I'll go to watch the grandeur only.. No point believing bollywood on history..

Dhanya said...

Oh good.. So u have researched history also n not just ghosts :)

Amey said...

@Sid: I think there is no evidence for Anarkali's existance, right? Then again, nobody asks for evidence when they hear "Jab pyar kiya to..."

You are right, when I watch the movie, I will watch it as historical fiction rather than a documentary. No point in believing people who don't mention Birbal ;)

@Dhanya: Ghosts, dating, history... here at Aerie Institute we have everything everybody likes :D

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

hey !
didnt get the "fictional" bit ... as far as i remember , all the history texts we had in school named Jodha Bai as Akbar's wife .... so where did the fictional character spring from ??

Amey said...

@Deepa: Welcome back... Long time no see and all that.

To answer your question, from what I remember (and gather from discussions), Jodha as Akbar's wife was started by Mughal-e-Azam, though Akbar had married a Rajput princess for political reasons. Need to check the history books though.

Princess Stefania said...

Nice post.
I need inspiration so bad.

tulipspeaks said...

aha.. when i first read this post, i couldn't relate much to it. now, after watching the movie.. i could understand this whole history-film controversy thingy.

good thing u posted about this.


Amey said...

@Princess: Aah, don't we all?

@Tulip: Oh yes, this is one of those posts which need Indian childhood and education (at least in History) more than anything else. Good to know you got the references, though :D