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Jodhaa Akbar

Movie Poster
Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala
Ashutosh Gowariker
Written by Haidar Ali
Ashutosh Gowariker
Starring Hrithik Roshan
Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan
Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Sonu Sood
Ila Arun
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Kiran Deohans
Editing by Ballu Saluja
Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures
Release date(s) 2008-02-15
Running time 213 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi / Urdu
Budget Rs 400,000,000 (estimated)[1]
Gross revenue Rs 590,300,000 (estimated)[2]
$ 26,845,090 (worldwide)[3]

Jodhaa-Akbar (Hindi: जोधा-अकबर, Urdu: جودھا اکبر) is an Indian epic film released on 15 February 2008.[4] It is directed and produced by Ashutosh Gowariker, the director of the Academy Award-nominated Lagaan (2001). It stars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in lead roles. This film also marks the debut of newcomer Abir Abrar. Extensive research went into the making of this film which began shooting at Karjat.[5]

The film centers around the romance between the Muslim Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great, played by Hrithik Roshan, and his Hindu wife Jodhabai, played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The music is composed by acclaimed music composer A. R. Rahman. The soundtrack of the movie was released on 19 January 2008.[6] The film has won the Audience Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the São Paulo International Film Festival,[7] two awards at the Golden Minbar International Film Festival,[8], seven Star Screen Awards and five Filmfare Awards, in addition to two nominations at the 3rd Asian Film Awards.[9] The Charlotte Observer ranked Jodhaa Akbar at #2 in its list of top ten films released in 2008 from across the world.[10]



Jodhaa Akbar is a sixteenth century love story about a political marriage of convenience between a Mughal emperor, Akbar, and a Rajput princess, Jodhaa.

Political success knew no bounds for Emperor Akbar (Hrithik Roshan). After having secured the Hindu Kush, his empire extends from Afghanistan to the Bay of Bengal, and from the Himalayas to the Narmada River. Through a shrewd blend of diplomacy, intimidation and brute force, Akbar won the allegiance of the Rajputs. This allegiance was not universal. Maharana Pratap and many other Rajputs always considered Akbar as a foreign invader. Maharana Pratap also banned inter marriages between Rajputs who had given their daughters to the Mughals and the ones who did not. But little did Akbar know that when he married Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai), a fiery Rajput princess, in order to further strengthen his relations with the Rajputs, he would in turn be embarking upon a new journey – the journey of true love.

The daughter of King Bharmal of Amer, Jodhaa resented being reduced to a mere political pawn in this marriage of alliance, and Akbar’s biggest challenge now lies in winning the love of Jodhaa – a love hidden deep below resentment and extreme prejudice.[11]

Historical accuracy

The director has admitted that about 70% of the movie is based on his imagination. However, many of the events portrayed in the movie are based on real events. Certain Rajput groups claimed Jodhaa was married to Akbar's son, Jahangir, not Akbar. They also demanded a public apology from Ashutosh Gowariker. The film was not released in 30 cinema theatres in Rajasthan.[12]

Several historians claim that Akbar's Rajput wife was never known as "Jodha Bai" during the Mughal period. According to Professor Shirin Moosvi, a historian of Aligarh Muslim University, Neither the Akbarnama (a biography of Akbar commissioned by Akbar himself), nor any historical text from the period refer to her as Jodha Bai.[13] Moosvi notes that the name "Jodha Bai" was first used to refer to Akbar's wife in the 18th and 19th centuries in historical writings.[13] In Tuzk-e-Jahangiri, she is referred as Mariam Zamani.[13]

According to historian Imtiaz Ahmad, the director of the Khuda Baksh Oriental Public Library in Patna, the name "Jodha" was used for Akbar's wife for the first time by Lieutenant-Colonel James Tod, in his book Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan. According to Ahmad, Tod was not a professional historian.[14] N R Farooqi claims that Jodha Bai was not the name of Akbar's Rajput queen; it was the name of Jahangir's Rajput wife.[15]

Ashutosh Gowarikar's reaction was,

While making the film I did my best to go by the book. I consulted the best historians and went through the most rigorous research. And there are different names used for Akbar's wife, Jodhaa being one of them. In fact, there's a disclaimer about the Rajput queen's name at the beginning of the film. But to see that, the protesters have to see the film.

Protests and legal issues

The portrayal of ethnic Rajput people in the movie was criticized by members of the Rajput community as misleading, politically motivated historical revisionism that minimized Rajput history and scapegoated them as evil [3]. The community's protests against the film in some states and it has been banned by the States of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand. However, the producer has moved the Supreme Court by challenging it.[16][17] Later, the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on screening the film for now in Uttar Pradesh and some towns of Uttarakhand and Haryana. The court scrapped the Uttar Pradesh government ban as well as similar orders by authorities in Dehradun in Uttarkhand and in Ambala, Sonepat and Rewari in Haryana.[18]


  • Surendra Pal…Rana Uday Singh
  • Pramod Moutho…Raja Todar Mal
  • Pramatesh Mehta…Chandrabhan Singh
  • Visswa Badola…Saadir Adaasi
  • Manava Naik…Neelakshi
  • Sayed Badrul Hasan…Mullah Do Pyaaza
  • Dilnaaz Irani…Salima
  • Tejpal Singh Rawat…NiMat
  • Raju Pandit…Raja Bhaati
  • Bharat Kumar…Raja Chauhan
  • Jassi Singh…Raja Bhadra
  • Ulhas Barve…Raja Mankeshwar
  • Abir Abrar…Bakshi Banu Begum
  • Aman Dhaliwal…Rajkumar Ratan Singh
  • Shehzor Ali…Raja Hemu
  • Sanchita Kaur... Special Appearance
  • Amitabh Bachchan... Narrator


  • Story: Haidar Ali
  • Screenplay: Haidar Ali & Ashutosh Gowariker
  • Dialogues: K.P.Saxena
  • Make-up Artist: Jamie Wilson
  • Production Design: Nitin Chandrakant Desai
  • Visual Effects: Pankaj Khandpur (Tata Elxsi - Visual Computing Labs)
  • Chief Assistant Director: Karan Malhotra
  • Cinematography: Kiran Deohan


Ashutosh Gowariker hired a research team of historians and scholars from New Delhi, Aligarh, Lucknow, Agra and Jaipur to guide him on this film and help him keep things historically accurate. He clarified that the name of the film remains Jodhaa-Akbar, and not Akbar-Jodhaa as reported by sections of the media. Over 80 elephants, 100 horses and 55 camels were used in the movie. Name Of Main Titled “Azeem O Shan, Shahenshah”, the song featured about one thousand dancers in traditional costumes, wielding swords and shields at a grand location in Karjat. The budget of the film was initially Rs. 37 cr., which shot up to Rs. 40 crore. The film was supposed to be released in June–December 2007, but was delayed due to unknown issues.[19]

The first television promo was aired on 9 December 2007.

The movie used over 4000 kg of gold and kundan jewellery made by Tanishq [20].


Box office

In the North America, the film grossed $1.3 million in the first weekend and went onto gross $3,440,718 in its lifetime.[3] The film had a slow start at the Indian box office. The movie netted a decent Rs 24.75 crores in the first week[21] but with good word of mouth publicity, it went on cross the coveted Rs 50 crore Nett milestone by the fourth weekend itself.[22] The movie has been estimated to end its theatrical run in India with total business of 60 crores Nett,[23] without being released in Rajasthan due to political unrest.

Critical reception

Film critic Lawrence Toppman of The Charlotte Observer ranked Jodhaa Akbar at #2 in his list of top ten films released in 2008 from across the world.[10]Rotten Tomatoes has given the film a 75% rating with 8 fresh and 2 rotten reviews.[24]

Anil Sinanan of The Times gave the film four out of five stars stating, "Oscar-nominated Lagaan director Ashutosh Gowariker’s sumptuous period epic has all the ingredients of a Cecil B. DeMille entertainer [...] The film ends with a passionate plea for tolerance of all religions in India, a resonant message for modern India."[25] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN also gave the film four out of five stars commenting: "I've never felt this way about any other film, but sitting there in my seat watching Jodhaa Akbar, I felt privileged as a moviegoer. Privileged that such a film had been made, and privileged that it had been made in our times so we can form our own opinions of the film rather than adopt the opinions of previous generations, which we invariably must when looking at older classics."[26] Tajpal Rathore of the BBC gave the film four out of five stars, noting that, "although the 16th-century love story upon which its based might be long forgotten, this endearing treatment sears into the memory through sheer size and scale alone [...] Don't let the running time put you off watching this unashamedly epic tale."[27]

Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India gave the film three stars, stating that, "Jodhaa Akbar works only because its heart is in the right place. The film talks about a love that transcends all barriers -- gender, religion, culture -- and dreams of an India where secularism and tolerance are the twin towers that should never ever crumble. And Akbar and Jodhaa are the alluring exponents of this dream." Kazmi also suggests that "if you are willing to shed off all the trappings of history, only then will Jodhaa Akbar work for you."[28] While suggesting that the film is "too long" and that it is "not a history lesson," Rachel Saltz of the The New York Times also notes, "in choosing to tell the tale of this emperor and a Muslim-Hindu love story, Mr. Gowariker makes a clear point. As Akbar says, 'Respect for each other’s religion will enrich Hindustan.' "[29] Khalid Mohammed of the Hindustan Times, gave the film 2 stars. He suggests that, "like it or not Ashutosh Gowariker, who is normally a fine and conscientious director, has miscalculated the technical logistics and emotional content of a period piece. Crucial detailing isn’t the virtue here."[30]


Jodhaa Akbar
Soundtrack by A.R.Rahman
9 January 2008 (music launch)
18 January 2008 (CD release)
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
A.M. Studios
Nirvana Studio
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 39:43
UTV Music
Producer A. R. Rahman
Professional reviews
  • Planet Bollywood 09/10 stars link
A.R.Rahman chronology
Azhagiya Tamil Magan
Jodhaa Akbar
Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

The official soundtrack contains five songs and two instrumentals. The music was released on 18 January 2008.

Song Singer(s) Duration Notes
Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah Mohd. Aslam, Bonnie Chakraborty & chorus 5:54 Picturised on Hrithik Roshan & Aishwarya Rai
Jashn-E-Bahaara Javed Ali 5:15 Picturised on Hrithik Roshan & Aishwarya Rai
Khwaja Mere Khwaja A.R.Rahman (Lyrics: Kashif) 6:56 Picturised on Haidar Ali [Amin Hajee] [Karim Hajee] Hrithik Roshan & Aishwarya Rai
In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein Sonu Nigam & Madhushree 6:37 Picturised on Hrithik Roshan & Aishwarya Rai
Mann Mohana Bela Shende 6:50 Picturised on Hrithik Roshan & Aishwarya Rai
Jashn-e-Baharaa Instrumental - Flute 5:15 Instrumental
Khwaja Mere Khawaja Instrumental - Oboe 2:53 Instrumental


Filmfare Awards

Star Screen Awards

Stardust Awards

IIFA Awards

V Shantaram Awards



Golden Minbar International Film Festival of Muslim Cinema (Kazan, Russia)[8]
32nd São Paulo International Film Festival (Brazil, South America)[7]
Asia Pacific Screen Awards
  • Nominated, Achievement in Cinematography - Kiiran Deohans
3rd Asian Film Awards
  • Nominated, Best Production Designer - Nitin Chandrakant Desai
  • Nominated, Best Composer - A. R. Rahman


  1. ^ Business data for Jodhaa Akbar from IMDb
  2. ^ "Box Office earnings in 2008". 
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "25 January 2008". IndiaFM. 2007-09-12. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  5. ^ "Aishwarya gets summons by Customs Department". IndiaFM. 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2007-10-03. 
  6. ^ "27 December 2008". 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  7. ^ a b "Jodhaa Akbar wins Audience Award at Sao Paulo International Film Fest". Business of Cinema. 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  8. ^ a b "Jodhaa Akbar, Hrithik win awards at Golden Minbar Film Festival in Russia". Bollywood Hungama. 23 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  9. ^ a b "Awards for Jodhaa Akbar (2008)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  10. ^ a b "Film Critic Top Ten Lists: 2008 Critics' Picks". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  11. ^ "Jodhaa Akbar :: Official Website". Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  12. ^ "Jodhaa Akbar not being screened in Rajasthan". IndiaFM. 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  13. ^ a b c Ashley D'Mello (2005-12-10). "Fact, myth blend in re-look at Akbar-Jodha Bai". The Times of India. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  14. ^ Syed Firdaus Ashraf (2008-02-05). "Did Jodhabai really exist?". Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  15. ^ Atul Sethi (2007-06-24). "'Trade, not invasion brought Islam to India'". The Times of India. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  16. ^ "UP bans screening of Jodhaa Akbar". NDTV. 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  17. ^ "Court moved against ban on film". The Hindu. 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  18. ^ "Supreme Court lifts ban on Jodhaa Akbar, for now". Reuters. 2008-03-03. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  19. ^ "Success saga!". 
  20. ^ "Royal jewellery of Jodhaa Akbar". The Hindu. 2008-06-20. 
  21. ^ "'Jodhaa Akbar' all-India net: Rs. 24.75 cr.". Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  22. ^ "'Jodhaa Akbar' crosses 50 Cr. mark in India". Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  23. ^ "Actor rankings based on films released from Jan 01/2007 - Dec 31/2009". Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  24. ^ Jodhaa Akbar @ Rotten Tomatoes
  25. ^ Jodhaa Akbar
  26. ^ Masand's Verdict: Jodhaa Akbar
  27. ^ Jodhaa Akbar
  28. ^ Jodhaa Akbar
  29. ^ Rachel Saltz (Published: February 16, 2008). "Jodhaa Akbar - Movie - Review - The New York Times". Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  30. ^ And the rest isn’t history
  31. ^ [1]
  32. ^ [2]

External links

Preceded by
Taare Zameen Par
Filmfare Best Movie Award
Succeeded by
3 Idiots


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