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Jodhaa Akbar: All you should know about this Ashutosh Gowariker film

by Ratan Srivastava
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Jodhaa Akbar

Ashutosh Gowariker co-wrote, produced, and helmed Jodhaa Akbar, a 2008 Indian epic period drama movie. Hrithik Roshan as well as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan appear in the film, which also features Sonu Sood, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, and Ila Arun. The movie is slated inside the 16th century and follows the love storey of Mughal Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar (Hrithik) and Princess Jodhaa Bai (Aishwarya), who has become his bride through a marriage of convenience. The musical soundtrack was composed by A. R. Rahman and became a commercial success.

The movie was shot in Karjat and premiered on February 15, 2008. That was a critical and financial triumph upon its initial release. The film received two nominations for such 3rd Asian Film Awards and won the Audience Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the So Paulo International Film Festival, as well as two awards at the Golden Minbar International Film Festival, seven Star Screen Awards, five Filmfare Awards, and two National Film Awards.

Thanks to the success of Lagaan (2001), actor and screenwriter Haidar Ali approached filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker well with the idea of producing a movie similar to K. Asif’s historical epic Mughal-e-Azam (1960). When Gowariker was debating whether to produce a sequel or remake of Mughal-e-Azam, Ali recommended that he make a prequel; Gowariker agreed and started to write a script that would cover Akbar’s early years from the age of 13 to 21. In an interview with Rediff.com’s Syed Firdaus Ashraf, Ali explained why he chose to collaborate with Gowariker:

Only Ashutosh Gowariker could be doing justice to a movie of this magnitude. He addressed casteism, the downtrodden class, Hindu-Muslim cooperation, communal harmony, team spirit, management, and nationalism in Lagaan.

He has skillfully woven all of this together to create a blockbuster picture without preaching or lecturing. Similarly, I told him that if he touched on such themes without preaching, he might produce a brilliant movie.

When Ali proposed the concept, Gowariker already had written his writing for Swades (2004). As a consequence, he decided to begin working with Ali after completing his current project. Ali began researching princess Jodhabai, daughter of the Rajput king of Amer, Bharmal, and the Mughal emperor Akbar, in December 2001 and developed a basic tale about the relationship. Ali saw Gowariker a month after Swades was released and told him the storey.

Following that, Gowariker revealed his next project, Jodhaa Akbar, which he described as “a loving musical.”

In March 2005, Gowariker began writing the screenplay alongside Ali, despite rumours that the film would be produced by Firoz A. Nadiadwala and Subhash Ghai. Later in August 2006, it was revealed that Gowariker will co-produce the film with Ronnie Screwvala of UTV Motion Pictures under his company AGPPL Productions, with the latter also releasing it.

During November 2005, Ali and Gowariker finished the script and enlisted the aid of Maharaja of Jaipur Bhawani Singh as well as his wife, Maharani Padmini Devi, to offer “creative ideas for making Jodhaa Akbar as authentic as possible.” The movie’s dialogues were written by K. P. Saxena.

Also Read: Master: All you should know about this Tamil Blockbuster movie

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