Mar 28, 2008

History, Jodha Akbar & Movie Scripts

Given my penchant for historical movies, I couldnt miss Jodha-Akbar for too long..Finally saw that last weekend @ INOX . I'm not going to write a big review about that..There are plenty of funny reviews available on net like this one :-) ..

The movie is actually pretty a semi-documentary.. The songs were good..especially I liked the 'Khwaja mere Kwaja...' one very much..And yeah, Aiswarya Rai still looks too good in some sequences :-) ..The camera work in battle sequences left a lot to be desired..Nothing much exceptional there..The last fight was a badly imitated one from Troy ( Hector - Achilles ) ..

An interesting thing which caught my attention in this movie is how the prince/princess type people get privacy.. Usually they'll be surrounded by many servants ..and when the possibility of romance comes, they just have to shout "Ekaant" .. Thats an interesting way :-)

This is movie which has raked up many protests in Rajasthan because some believe 'Jodha' is the name of Akbar's mother, not wife.. Infact many historical movies released in India have been dogged by such controversies. Even if their arguments are true, this is actually a very silly controversy..The fact that Akbar had a Rajput wife has been documented beyond doubt, only her name is uncertain..If I remember the old Mughal-E-Aazam correctly, it shows Akbar's wife as a Rajput princess.

This took my thoughts to a malayalam movie - 'Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha' , by MT Vasudevan Nair. One of the most critically acclaimed , yet very much popular movie in Malayalam movie history.. This is a movie in which MT showed a Villain in folklore history in a positive light.. Infact, the impact of the movie has been such that if you quiz an average Keralite about this folklore story, he's quite likely to tell MT's version. The story runs from the anti-hero's ( played by Mammootty ) perspective and it gives various explanations to all the wrong deeds that the he's accused off in the folklore story... That is actually historical fiction at its best. And it created no controversy !!! ..

I'm just wondering , are there any good English movies in which this kind of "anti-hero in real life to hero in reel life" transformations have been attempted ?
The scale of historical fiction that I'm looking for is something akin to what would happen if someone portrays the 'Jackal' in the 'Day of the Jackal' as a hero..

Off track Request :- Please help this mallu {fraud} to break his bachelor life by finding the girl he has mentioned :-)


Nikhil C said...

i've a dream to shoot a movie portraying Karna in Mahabharatha as a hero :)

Anonymous said...

You should read "Randaamoozham" by MT. One of the few Malayalam novels which I have read, and it is an excellent one. It shows Bhima of Mahabharata in a totally different light.

@Nikhil: The Tamil movie Dalapathy was a modern day version of Karna. That said, I think Karna was never an anti-hero in the epic. We are talking about total makeover here.

Nikhil C said...

@ Deepak - I ve read Randaamoozham...I feel Karna did not deserve the position which he deserved :)1

Anonymous said...

Havent watched the movie so far. Tempted now but its long been pulled off the theatres. DVD it will finally be.

Girl With Big Eyes said...

There are a lot of books in Mallu that follow the same line. For example Randamoozham gives a very different perspective to Mahabharatha. (I see that deepak has already mentioned that!)
So does the book 'Urmila'

Vadakkan Gatha is one of my fav movies. Can't forget the songs and the final heart wrenching fighting sequence. Am not a Mammotty fan, but this movie is an exception for me :)

N A R I YA L C H U T N E Y said...

Hey Ajith, Thanks for the link :). Got some helpful and hateful mails :D.

Vadakkan Veeragatha is a very nice movie where a real life villain was portrayed as reel life villian . However there were controversies at that time by historians at that time . You wont find any article about the controversy now anywhere and I remember this from an MT interview.In fact the only authenticity of so many epics is based on what has been passed on through generations. There was an interesting argument in one of the Malayalam books which said that the actual villain in Ramayana is Rama and not Ravana because Sita's abduction was after the humiliation of Ravanas sister Shoorpanakha. It will be very interesting if we try to analyse more characters like this .

Ajith Prasad Balakrishnan said...

@nikhil,deepak -- i havnt read randaamoozham to read..Actually i dont read much of malayalam novels.

@rinchen -- Piracy !!! :D

@GWBE -- yeah, Urmila was one with a different perspective, though not a hero-anti hero type

@NC -- ayyo hate mails ? athu njaan pratheekshichilla :) ..
I think i've heard about this ramayana twist.. yeah , as u said, its all perceptions passed through generations :)

Anonymous said...

Don't assume that MT is being "original" in Randaamoozham.