Monday, August 18, 2008

Akbar, Krish and Om Agarwal...

In the numerous Saas-Bahu (mother-in-law / daughter-in-law) serials that are currently on air on Indian prime time Television, it normally is the woman who does all the sinister scheming. In one particular serial ‘Pallavi’ is the scheming sister-in-law and ‘Parvathi’ is the wife who effectively counters her sinister designs. The point of contention is normally a man, Om Agrawal in this case; who is portrayed as a dumb and ignorant gentleman, oblivious to the overt plotting that happens around him.

The other day I happened to watch ‘Jodha Akbar’. In the film, Mogul emperor Akbar’s Hindu wife Jodha steps out of her palace in the middle of the night to meet her brother. Akbar’s scheming foster mother makes this encounter look like an adulterous liaison. Akbar believes and within a fraction of a second pronounces Jodha as guilty. She is sent back to her father’s place.

It looked odd to me that the emperor of India, who usually is so alert to all the political schemers around him, does not even think for a second that the theory that portrays Jodha as an adulterous wife could actually be doubted! How can the sharp witted emperor be portrayed as so dumb, especially when it is know that his decision to marry a Hindu has opened a can of worms in his own ranks?

Despite the filmmaker’s great eye for the detail, for a second I thought I was watching Om Agarwal in a period costume.

In another sequence in the film, Akbar is shown taming a wild elephant. There is a shot where Akbar, without any support, first jumps on to a wall and then rebounds on to the elephant, to sit on top of it. The elephant is now tamed. It was as if he had flying powers. In another film ‘Krish’, Hrithik Roshan the actor who plays Akbar in ‘Jadha Akbar’ had played the title role of a super hero who could fly.

For a second I thought I was watching ‘Krish’ who had been transported into medieval India...