I had an eventful week. I saw Jodha Akbar and then went on a short 2-day business trip to Charlotte, NC.
The business trip seemed shorter.
So the moment I got back to IST, while my biological clock is still sightseeing somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, I decided to, in the interest of public service, to shoot an email to Ashutosh Gowariker asking him to shorten the movie to something less than the time it takes a medium sized star to turn into a white dwarf.
But I didn’t do the shooting, for 2 reasons
- I did not have Ashutosh Gowariker’s email ID
- A close cousin got married and I had to discharge several critical responsibilities (such as eating breakfast, hogging lunch, guzzling coffee and tucking into dinner)
But since this is a blog with a fairly tenuous connection to the restricting limitations of real life, let us imagine that I actually did send this email to Mr. Gowariker.
And the ideas I’ve handpicked are:
The Tansen Fan club of Teynampet
We are ok with the movie till the point where Jodha marries Akbar. After that we find, to quote Lord Vader, the lack of Tansen disturbing. Remember the scene where Akbar is in the Diwan-e-Aam (Sofa made from Mango tree) and this important event is interrupted by strains of Jodha singing “Man Mohanaa”? The emperor then declares the session closed and joins his lady love in singing some Krishna bhajans.
At this point, we believe Tansen should intervene and point out that Jodha is way off the original Raga in which the composition was set. He then goes on to demonstrate how it should be sung and Jodha is shamed and decides to go back to her Paattu maami to start over from Sarle Varise. Akbar then goes on to marry 700 more women and lives like every other Mughal emperor. Some harm and a lot of harem.
Length of Movie – 30 minutes.
The Gardening Club of Kotturpuram
Akbar wins lots of wars. He then decides to marry Jodha. His army throws a bachelor party and invites Sufi singers to sing “Khwaja Jee”.
As anybody can clearly see, this is a plot by the Gardening Club of Panipat to assassinate the emperor for his reckless laying waste of gardens and nurseries in Panipat in 1556. This is exactly why the singers are symbolically wearing flower pots on their heads. Once the song finishes, Akbar joins in the Sufi trance and at that moment, one of the potheads releases a King cobra which goes on to kill the emperor with a deadly bite.
Of course, it’s not historically accurate, but hey, neither is your original movie.
Length of movie – 25 minutes
The Cookery Club of West Mambalam
We are OK with the movie till the point where Aishwarya Rai serves the emperor a lavish self-cooked Rajasthaani meal. Now, imagine a former Miss World cooking a palace meal. Now, we are not doubting that she could rustle up some Maggi noodles or perhaps microwave some MTR precooked meals, but hey, a full meal for the palace? Here is the shortening (not the culinary type, he he) that we recommend.
In the process of cooking Rajasthaani Kadhi, all the L’Oreal and Revlon cosmetics she is wearing mixes with the food. In addition, her diamond studded Longines watch falls into the mix.
So when she serves Akbar and Maha Maanga demands that it is customary for the chef to taste the meal in front of the emperor, she does, and ends up fainting as a result of a lack of a digestive enzyme for L’Oreal face wash. Maha Maanga says – “See I told you so”, and Jodha is banished from the kingdom and Akbar lives happily ever after eating Lamb Biriyani.
Length of movie – 45 minutes
The Murli Manohar Joshi School of Revisionist History
This movie is not only unnecessarily lengthy, it is also a blatant distortion of history. Our problem with the movie is scene nr 1 – Akbar’s battle with Hemu. When Bairam Khan attempts to behead Hemu, his sword breaks into two and Hemu is unscathed. Bairam Khan is enraged and attempts to behead him again with another sword. That one also shatters. Hemu then reveals himself to be an avatar of Vishnu and everyone in the battlefield is humbled and the Mughals go back to their native Uzbekistan.
Length of movie – 5 minutes
The SuperUltimateSupremeIlayaDalapathiStars Fan Club of Saidapet
When Jodha lays down conditions for her betrothal with Akbar (No conversion to Islam, Krishna shrine etc), the emperor’s thoo-neelaam-oru-ambaley type docile response is despicable. In our world, Superstars, Ultimate stars and Supreme Stars usually say – “Ei. Saridaan Podi” (Hey. I request you to take your leave) and go on to do heroic acts and make the heroine fall at his feet at the end of the movie and beg for his mercy and agree to be ahangaaram-less and get married unconditionally.
Basically, most important scenes involving Jodha can be cut and only the hero can be focussed on.
Length of movie – 2 hours.
The World Wide Fund for Nature
We are OK with the movie till Akbar’s attempt to tame the wild elephant. It is a complete insult to the elephant’s leg-eye-trunk coordination skills when you show it missing Akbar many times. Elephants are physically more agile than humans are. Here is what we propose. The elephant raises its foot to crush the emperor. It doesn’t miss.
Length of movie – 30 minutes.