Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando
Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan in Jodhaa Akbar (UTV Motion Pictures)
The Museum of Photographic Arts kicks off an Indian Film Series on May 3 that's designed to complement its new exhibit Humanitas : Images of India by Fredric Roberts . For the kick off event, MoPA will be partnering with Goldspirit Films , the sole exhibitor of contemporary Indian language films in San Diego, to present a free encore screening of the epic Jodhaa Akbar . The screening begins at 6:00 pm at the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Theater. If you have ever wanted to sample a contemporary Indian film this is the perfect opportunity since the event is free and the film is a lush romantic and historical opus. MoPA will also be partnering with the San Diego Museum of Art for additional films in the series. SDMA is currently running its own Indian-themed exhibit Rhythms of India: The Art of Nandalal Bose . The first film of the MoPA/SDMA collaboration will be Satyajit Ray's Two Daughters (1961) screening Tuesday May 6. Ray's gift for nuanced comedy is superbly demonstrated in this exquisite adaptation of a pair of short stories by Indian literary giant Rabindranath Tagore. So if you want to spend a wonderful day and evening in Balboa Park enjoying all things Indian, come early and take a tour of both museum exhibits and then settle in for an evening of grand cinematic entertainment.
Now to J odhaa Akbar. This lush $10 million dollar historical romance favors legend over facts as it chronicles the sixteenth century love story between the famous Mughal Emperor Akbar and the Rajput Princess Jodhaa that he marries. Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker (an Academy Award nominee for his cricket epic Lagaan ), Jodhaa Akbar stars hunky Hrithik Roshan as the emperor and the lovely Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan as his Hindu wife. Politically, Emperor Akbar is revealed as a savvy ruler, extending his empire as far east as Afghanistan and as far west as the Bay of Bengal, and from the Himalayas to the Godhavari River. As emperor, he displays tolerance and generosity backed by strength and military force. Akbar marries Jodhaa in order to strengthen his relations with the Rajputs. But Jodhaa is not about to be some mere political pawn. So she places two demands on Akbar before she will agree to marry: She will not be forced to convert to his Islamic faith and she will be allowed a small shrine to Krishna in her private quarters. Akbar agrees. But on their wedding night, he's turned away from her bed. Until he wins her heart, Jodhaa refuses to consummate their marriage. So in between battles, Akbar focuses on the domestic challenge of winning his wife's love and trust. He embarks on a courtship that leads to true love - despite court intrigues and prejudices that threaten to pull them apart.