"Magnanimous Muslim Mush"
What You Need To Know:
This movie’s message seems to be that all religions are fine if we can just get along. This is bunk. The Creator of the universe did not come in hundreds of forms giving people around the world hundreds of opposing “truths.” Truth does exist. In the United States you are free to believe lies and worship false gods (without being beheaded), but when this life is over we will all be answering to the one true God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
(PaPaPa, FRFRFR, VV, N, MM) Very strong pagan worldview with Hindu and Muslim elements with Muslim emperor portrayed as favoring freedom of religion; no foul language in the subtitles; ample war violence but not excessively bloody; married couple has one scene where they kiss; upper male nudity in scene where emperor shows off swordsmanship and muscles; no alcohol; no smoking; and, assorted court intrigue with lying, framing, attempted assassination, and murder.
JODHAA AKBAR is almost four hours of mush and music about a boy turned Muslim Emperor who took a Hindu wife and became a freedom-of-religion reformer. It smacks of wishful thinking when Muslim intolerance and terror is a major destabilizing force in the world we know today, not counting the world of the Middle Ages.
An historical drama, the movie opens with Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar as a boy emperor watching as his army, commanded by his mentor, defeats an enemy and, against his wishes, beheads the vanquished opposing ruler. As he grows up, he manages to halt the beheadings (he might have been helpful a few years back in Iraq). He even attempts to spread his kingdom by marrying a Hindu princess, Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). Starting as more of a political alliance than a marriage, the couple remains distant for most of the movie. The emperor gradually wins the heart of both his wife and the Hindus he rules. In extravagant Bollywood fashion, the Hindus wind up worshiping their magnanimous Muslim emperor in song and dance.
The language in the subtitles is clean, there is little sex (the married couple won’t get near each other for the first three hours), the only nudity is the emperor shirtless swinging a sword and showing off his spectacular muscles in slow motion glamour shot detail. There is ample war violence but this is no Mel Gibson movie. You see very little blood. The production values range from excellent in some scenes to junk in others. At almost four hours, the movie is long even by India’s standards.
The big problem with the movie is the portrayal of Hindu and Muslim religions. The subtitles have the beautiful princess praying to her Hindu statue using the word “Lord.” She’s not praying to Jesus Christ or God the Father. More than once, her prayers are answered by the emperor being bathed in a bright light: once being enlightened and once being healed.
Both the Hindu and Muslim religions come off looking good, with some bad members of each setting a bad example. The message seems to be that all religions are fine if we can just get along. This is bunk. The Creator of the universe did not come in hundreds of forms giving people around the world hundreds of opposing “truths.” All religions are not equal. Truth does exist. In the United States, you are free to believe lies and worship false gods (without being beheaded), but when this life is over we will all be answering to the one true God. Even in this life, true freedom comes from knowing and obeying the living God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the only way to true enlightenment and eternal life.