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Jodha Akbar 49: Duel of wills

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Jodha Akbar 49: Duel of wills

Post by sashashyam on 2013-08-25, 01:35

Ok, folks, enough of mooning and sighing about the duel between our Odd Couple, and get your heartbeats  back to normal. A cold water splash for those young ladies who had, as per their posts, fainted,  not just to to revive them, but to shake the visions of themselves as Jodha out of their minds!!


There were in fact 2 duels yesterday between Jodha and Jalal , and both were as much of the minds and the wills of the contestants as of their swords.  Between them, they bookended an episode which had little else of note.  Let us first dispose of the odds and ends.


The ugly tirade against Jodha by a shellshocked Mahaam Anga, fuelle d by both escalating fear and by jealousy, was unbelievably vicious. I could not believe that this woman would have the gall to address a Shahi Begum in such terms, to mock and deride her so harshly. It must be a corollary of her assumption that Jodha has no hold on Jalal at all but the pull of the unattained, and that this too will soon pass, and then there is the visceral  hatred she feels for all Hindus -  witness how she recoils in distaste when Motibai touches her.



So far, Mahaam Anga's negativity towards Jodha has been oblique, and she maintained the surface proprieties, even if halfheartedly. But this time,  the  gloves were well and truly off, and all the bile in her for Jodha came pouring out in one vile stream of abuse.



What I could not digest was Jodha's standing there and listening to the harridan go on and on and on spouting venom,  when all she had to do was to order her out in one sharp sentence. Mahaam Anga


cannot enter Jodha's quarters uninvited and at will, and Jodha should have made that clear at once. It was bad enough that Jodha's dasis scurried out the day before when Mahaam  Anga ordered them out, without getting any confirmation from their mistress. If Mahaam had tried to pull any such stunt with Ruqaiya,  she would have been told off in no uncertain terms.



Today, I was startled and dismayed to see Jodha getting up to greet the old witch. What for? Ruqaiya never does so, and Jodha is as much of a Begum as Ruqaiya is. She should have got  the upper hand right at the beginning by staying seated, and then sending Mahaam packing after the first 2 sentences.


As Ela noted, Jodha seems to reserve her pride and her snubs only for her patidev.  I felt like shaking her yesterday,  to try and drill some real shahi guroor into her head.


The other faltu scene was of Ruqaiya at the harem. There should be a Defend Ruqaiya Forum to agitate against the wanton degradation of the character of Akbar's Empress-in-chief, now reduced to a shallow, harem-obsessed, mindless female. Smilie must be glad  she was replaced before having to play this plastic creature.  If Jalal could survive 100 days, not to speak of 100 nights with this female, he deserves  a medal as big as a soup plate!


Now on to the real masala.


The Fencing Bout: Yes, yes,  it was mindblowing, terrific, out of the world, rocking, and whatever else any of you wants. .


But, the fact remains, as doyelpakhi has pointed out elsewhere, that the context was totally  unconvincing. It was as if the CVs has decided that the  fencing match had to be copied from the film, and that yesterday was the day to shove it in, and so they shoved it in willy nilly, and plausibility be damned.


So we had Jodha,  who had apparently thoughtfully  carted her sword and the white fencing attire to Agra, suddenly get up one fine morning and decide to shed her ultra heavy daily Christmas tree getup for the aforesaid whites, and do a spot of fencing practice right next to the Shahenshah’s quarters.  Why the face veil, then, when the bindi is a dead giveaway? In fact, she could easily have been challenged, or even attacked, by some watchful guard, who would rightly have taken her for an armed intruder. The whole thing looked like a hastily assembled patchwork, quite unlike in the film, where the context had been worked out perfectly.



The duel itself, on the contrary, was wonderfully choreographed and superbly executed by both the actors. Paridhi in particular seemed to have put her training in fencing to good use, and matched the more experienced Rajat every step of the way. Jodha must be physically very strong for a relatively small made woman if she can push the much heavier Jalal back so hard, even allowing for  the surprise element!



The duel in the film was more lighthearted and flirtatious, for there was no such backlog of overt animosity between them there. Whereas here it is an extension of their daily bouts of angry one-upmanship, and it seems at times as if Jodha would really  like to land him a deadly blow.
One can of course read anything one wants into their eyes, especially hers, in that long moment when they stare at each other from 6 inches away (kudos to the actors who manage that without going cross-eyed, and still maintain their respective expressions).


My take is that  rather than doing something as commonplace as flirting, Jalal is  angling for an opening to the person he senses that she is,  even while making a subtle, sensuous attempt to disorient her by his physical nearness. Jodha is trying equally hard not to give him that opening, and also to shut her senses to the closeness of this very attractive man, and whatever hitherto unknown sensations that stirs up.



Which is why she neither trips him up with a smart retort about the huge risks he had run to save another servitor, Abdul (Oh Abdul, where, oh where are you? You are sorely needed!) , nor does she let him prolong the near clinch, but sends him reeling with a smartly timed and very hard shove. The expression in Jalal's eyes as he looks at her at the very end is most revealing: he looks frustrated but still curious, while she seems angry, mostly with herself. But why? Is it because she has sensed a weakness in herself  for her handsome husband that she never knew existed?



The Farman: I was  disappointed at the rather pedestrian denouement of l'affaire Farman -  I had half hoped for a Mughal-e-Azam style rescue  for Motibai, but  pinned my hopes on Jalal finding out on his own that the dead man had nothing to do with Motibai, even if the Adham angle was still left open. Well, this is not the last time the CVs, and a precap, have tripped me  up and it will not be the last, I guess!


I would not, unlike so many here, read  anything much of hidden romance into Jodha's  holding Jalal back by clutching his arm, or his abruptly pulling her back to him,  and  whispering right next to her ear that there is nothing greater than  a Shahenshah's word.  On her side, the gesture is one of resentful pleading, triggered by the fear that along with the torn firman, Jalal had also jettisoned his promise.  She is wrong,  for he had no intention of not honouring the firman; the  angry gesture of tearing it up and throwing it away comes from the accumulated anger of their  last encounter, and perhaps he also wants to give her a little fright, and why not?



On his side, he wants to tease her, and there is also, I think, some satisfaction at her having been forced to accept and use his firman after all.  But I do not think that he does all this deliberately to force Jodha to do so. Such speculation is nixed by his going to see Moti in the prison and trying to persuade her to change what might, in his thinking, be a false statement re: Adham Khan, so that he can  let her off with a light sentence.


It is true that the wishful thinking Mansi, I and many others were indulging in re: Jalal - that he was so keen to get Moti off so as to spare Jodha the lifelong trauma of her death, that he would have exerted himself to dig out the truth -  fell flat on its face. But I feel  that this makes the script that much more realistic. Let me explain why.


Jalal is, above all, the  Shahenshah, and now, without his Khan Baba, he has many serious and pressing  political issues concerning the Mughal empire to tackle.  The  suspected rebellion by Mirza Beg in Kabul and Kandahar that  he is discussing yesterday, which has to be dealt with quickly and quietly, is merely  a case in point;  earlier, during Bharmal's visit, there was a report about trouble in Jaunpur and elsewhere. There is also something amiss in Mathura.  These are the matters that should and do preoccupy him;  his personal affairs have to come  second, and they do.  


So, it was perhaps unduly wishful and unrealistic of us to imagine the Shahenshah burning the midnight oil trying to find  ways to save a wench who he now believes has been lying thru her teeth to disastrous effect. And this for another female who is blatantly  hostile to him and who, he might feel, would dismiss even any such efforts he might make as a fraud. It is far more plausible for him to behave as he does;  letting Moti go to her death, since he is now convinced that she is guilty. He has already gone out of his way by visiting her twice in prison, an unprecedented gesture from an emperor, and that is it.



This is also for the better,  in another way, for the Jalal-Jodha love story. This  can now develop free of any improbably romantic twists, and  also of the burden of gratitude on her side. I would like her to  find out about Jalal's many positive qualities, over and above keeping his word, which she now acknowledges,  and proclaims proudly to Mahaam Anga. But I would like her to do this in an impersonal  context,  unrelated to herself or her family, like what he did for that little Hindu boy. That would show her the real Jalal,  who is that way  by and of himself,  because that is what he thinks is right, not something he cooks up or does to impress or please her. The admiration  she will feel then  is the only kind of admiration that will last.



Joke of the day: Ruqaiya clinging to Jalal's arm and praising him for having got the  better of Jodha in that fencing bout. Here is perhaps the premier swordsman of his day, who keeps himself in top fighting mettle, and he is to be felicitated on having disarmed a young woman? It is Jodha who deserves a medal for having stood up to him and almost got the better of him at one point.



The CVs seem hellbent on making Ruqaiya out to be even more of a featherheaded, fawning bimbo than she  has already been reduced to. One of these days, the real Ruqaiya's shade will rise from her maqbara , and then in logon ki to khair nahin!!


Shyamala B.Cowsik
 
 
 

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Re: Jodha Akbar 49: Duel of wills

Post by pollyanna on 2013-08-26, 12:21

Wow, what a perfect title!!!cheers Thumbsup 

Guess MA-Jodha scene was to show the true colors of MA to Jodha, during the first scene, when MA was spewing venom @hoew Moti will die, I think, Jodha was more shell shocked to to know this facet of MA and hence slow to react. But in the second scene, she gives it back to MA in a firm manner, no histrionics or hefty words, just a plain difference between daasi n rani AND men n women mentality.
(I guess this same poison bottle will again come into picture when Jodha will be falsely implicated--Sujamal wala scene)

Coming to Fencing duel: though it came as a surprise and many think that it came too soon in the story but I found it relevant. I did not want this to happen in Amer , also this was as u said, more nicely and well orchestrated, also it did look like two of them are really fighting unlike movie one, which was more romantically inclined. The purpose of both the duels are different and thankfully the makers have got it right.

@Farman: yup I am disappointed but still being optimistic that all these things are piling up and will be blown in their faces sometime later on to make them realise how wrong both were in judging one another.

And Shyamala Aunty, though I am repeating myself, but will do so again and again--ur write -up are no less than a novel. The indepth analysis and then to complement it with beautiful words, phrases, examples are a DELIGHT for us. Feeling Blessed!!!

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Jodha Akbar 49: Duel of wills

Post by sashashyam on 2013-08-26, 12:29

My dear Pallavi, After such plenitude of praise, fro which I am truly grateful. I should not quibble, but I do not agree with you about the Mahaam-Jodha scene and how Jodha handled it. Do go to the IF thread of the same name, it is, as I had noted in my PM to you, at wrote:
http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3712972&PID=90689223�
and see my exchanges with Shalmali. They are very detailed, and I feel very strongly about this point. Take a look, and see if that changes  your point of view to any extent.Shyamala AuntypollyannaWow, what a perfect title!!!cheers Thumbsup 

Guess MA-Jodha scene was to show the true colors of MA to Jodha, during the first scene, when MA was spewing venom @hoew Moti will die, I think, Jodha was more shell shocked to to know this facet of MA and hence slow to react. But in the second scene, she gives it back to MA in a firm manner, no histrionics or hefty words, just a plain difference between daasi n rani AND men n women mentality.
(I guess this same poison bottle will again come into picture when Jodha will be falsely implicated--Sujamal wala scene)

Coming to Fencing duel: though it came as a surprise and many think that it came too soon in the story but I found it relevant. I did not want this to happen in Amer , also this was as u said, more nicely and well orchestrated, also it did look like two of them are really fighting unlike movie one, which was more romantically inclined. The purpose of both the duels are different and thankfully the makers have got it right.

@Farman: yup I am disappointed but still being optimistic that all these things are piling up and will be blown in their faces sometime later on to make them realise how wrong both were in judging one another.

And Shyamala Aunty, though I am repeating myself, but will do so again and again--ur write -up are no less than a novel. The indepth analysis and then to complement it with beautiful words, phrases, examples are a DELIGHT for us. Feeling Blessed!!!

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Re: Jodha Akbar 49: Duel of wills

Post by pollyanna on 2013-08-26, 12:32

sashashyam wrote:
My dear Pallavi, After such plenitude of praise, fro which I am truly grateful. I should not quibble, but I do not agree with you about the Mahaam-Jodha scene and how Jodha handled it. Do go to the IF thread of the same name, it is, as I had noted in my PM to you, at wrote:
http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3712972&PID=90689223�
and see my exchanges with Shalmali. They are very detailed, and I feel very strongly about this point. Take a look, and see if that changes  your point of view to any extent.Shyamala Aunty pollyanna Wow, what a perfect title!!!cheers Thumbsup 

Guess MA-Jodha scene was to show the true colors of MA to Jodha, during the first scene, when MA was spewing venom @hoew Moti will die, I think, Jodha was more shell shocked to to know this facet of MA and hence slow to react. But in the second scene, she gives it back to MA in a firm manner, no histrionics or hefty words, just a plain difference between daasi n rani AND men n women mentality.
(I guess this same poison bottle will again come into picture when Jodha will be falsely implicated--Sujamal wala scene)
Sure Aunty, will like to read the views :) :) Is shalmali--shal1983 ?? in IF

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Re: Jodha Akbar 49: Duel of wills

Post by sarra0 on 2013-08-26, 13:35

Hope ur eyes r getting better, due to lack of time I havnt managed to read and comment on your recent posts and have missed the in depth analysis.

Jodha getting up wen Mahamanga came in is just how Jodha has been bought up, it's about manners and while I think it was stupid for Jodha to leave Moti with Mahamanga that night she hadn't seen the extent of Mahamanga's poison and this tirade against Jodha as well showin Jodha wat she thinks, i would hope this was to show Jodha her true colours but it may be to soon for that but whether Jodha thinks she is only like that with her cause she is a Hindu or she realises that she is sly and devious we shall find out so enough...

Mahamanga still thinks she can manipulate Jalal, she is frustrated, she is over confident, the very thing she warned Ruq's about she has now given away a bit of her true nature...

i expected Jalal to free her using the farmaan, it was the way out, I didn't expect Jalal at this stage to try and ferret out further information, I just wanted to know whether wen they sent the rider to c if Adham was where Mahamanga said he was whether the question of wen he arrived was asked or just that he was there...

i agree that the sword fight jus seemed to b there, it was nicely done, and it is very much showin Jalal how different Jodha is to the rest of the women...

The less said about Ruqs the better, never really took to the actress changing cause that was wen the character changed and she is getting worse, where is the oh so famous brain? I havnt seen its existence recently...

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Jodha Akbar 49: Duel of wills

Post by sashashyam on 2013-08-26, 15:34

Yes, Pallavi, she is. Also,  if you can spare the time, go  thru the whole thread quickly - there are some interesting posts - and do read the one by Moontide and my response and then her 2nd one without fail. She is, like me, a PGWodehouse (perhaps the greatest of the English language humourists) addict, and we have a great time together because of the wacky sense of humour we shareShyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:
sashashyam wrote:
My dear Pallavi, After such plenitude of praise, fro which I am truly grateful. I should not quibble, but I do not agree with you about the Mahaam-Jodha scene and how Jodha handled it. Do go to the IF thread of the same name, it is, as I had noted in my PM to you, at wrote:
http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3712972&PID=90689223�
and see my exchanges with Shalmali. They are very detailed, and I feel very strongly about this point. Take a look, and see if that changes  your point of view to any extent.Shyamala Aunty pollyanna Wow, what a perfect title!!!cheers Thumbsup 

Guess MA-Jodha scene was to show the true colors of MA to Jodha, during the first scene, when MA was spewing venom @hoew Moti will die, I think, Jodha was more shell shocked to to know this facet of MA and hence slow to react. But in the second scene, she gives it back to MA in a firm manner, no histrionics or hefty words, just a plain difference between daasi n rani AND men n women mentality.
(I guess this same poison bottle will again come into picture when Jodha will be falsely implicated--Sujamal wala scene)
Sure Aunty, will like to read the views :) :) Is shalmali--shal1983 ?? in IF

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Re: Jodha Akbar 49: Duel of wills

Post by --sumana13-- on 2013-08-27, 00:07

Beautifully written Shyamala ... I loved this ....


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