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Jodhaa Akbar
Starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai
Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker
Music by A. R. Rahman

Released 19th January 2008

A historical film based on a marriage between the Muslim Mughal Emperor Akbar, (Hrithik Roshan) and his Hindu wife, Jodhaabai, (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) was initially an alliance but became a love story.

2008 commenced with a flourish. Ashutosh Gowarikar’s contentious release Jodhaa Akbar created a stir with Gowarikar acknowledging that approximately 70% of the movie was based on his imagination though many of the events portrayed in the movie were based on true accounts from the time. Controversy reigned supreme with this film — a number of Rajput groups claimed Jodhaa was married to Akbar’s son, Jahangir, not Akbar. Pressure was placed on Gowarikar for a public apology was and the film was not released in 30 cinema theatres in Rajasthan.

Ashutosh Gowarikar went on record to say, “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.”

The film received an exceptional response at the US and UK box-offices, grossing $1.3 million dollars in the first weekend in the North American box office with The New York Times giving the movie a positive review, comparing Ashutosh Gowariker to Cecil DeMille. The film had a shaky start at the Indian box office with the Hindustan Times giving the film a mere 2 out of 5 with reviewer Khalid Mohammed stating that Gowariker had “miscalculated the technical logistics and emotional content of a period piece” but through word of mouth, it went on to gross Rs. 62 crore coming in at number three in our charts.

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