Though an unfair comparison, Hrithik will forever be benchmarked against Prithviraj's powerful portrayal of Akbar. Prithviraj Kapoor's screen presence was so overpowering that when he screams Takhleyah!, you feel like getting up and leaving! There is this scene half an hour into the movie when Hrithik Roshan utters the awaited Takhleyah! We burst out laughing! In all fairness, it was not that bad, but then, it reminded us of little Samba trying to roar in the movie Lion King and ends up getting only a mousy squeak! Seriuosly now!
There are other gems in this movie. Hrithik has tried hard to get a majestic gait, resembling that of an emperor. In fact, he has tried too hard, with the result that his hips sway when he walks and the gait is almost feminine! To top it all, he wears a lady's sandals (this is no figment of my imagination) in a scene. Look out for this in the scene when before the wedding, he walks into Jodhaa's tent, to hear out her pre-conditions for the wedding. The camera zooms in from behind, and you can clearly see that Hrithik is wearing a lady's white sandals!
Look out also for the song Khwaja mere khwaja. In their zest to portray an expression of spiritual ecstasy, the extras in the song end up looking loony and doped! Towards the end of the song, Hrithik joins them swinging loonily to the song and the effect is quite clownish.
Then there is this asssitant of Akbar, who walks around wearing a greenmat on his head (actually, it is a green headscarf, but being made from a thick canvas like material, it resembles a doormat more). For some inexplicable reason, he hovers around Akbar throughout the movie, walking around in the green doormat. We were thrilled, when in one of the scenes, he opts for an orange coloured doormat instead!
The sets, that have received varying reviews, are disappointing, for a movie of Jodhaa Akbar's scale. The outdoor sets are shoddily made: the paint work is patchy and reminds of cheaply made water colour paintings, the cardboard-thermocole ensemble is put together badly. There are places where sunlight streams through the chinks in the cardboard forts. The indoor sets are a tad better, but still, have a tacky feel. The quarters of Queen Jodhaa are pretty cramped, reminiscent of Mumbai apartments. Not surprising, considering that the director is a Mumbaite! The director's idea of creating a 'period' feel to the sets is to place large wooden chests all over. There are several of them strewn over - all over Jodhaa's quarters, in the corridors and passageways. Reminds one of storage-type furniture, so typical, again, to Mumbai!
There are other minor details that the director has glossed over, such as the colour of the lead pair's eyes. The jet black eyes of a young Akbar and young Jodhaa are miraculously transformed to green grey when they grow up into adults, portrayed by Aishwarya and Hrithik! There are others, particularly the moustaches. The lengths of the characters' moustaches vary between scenes and in certain cases, one side of the moustache is longer than the other. There are also scenes where the moustache is badly glued to the upper lip.
The kings and emperors in the scene slouch frequently, particularly in scenes where they are seated on the ground. It is difficult to imagine that warriors who braved the elements, sword and arrows, have to support themselves with their hands when arising from the ground, as all the characters in the movie do.
The action sequences, particularly those with Aishwarya in them, are badly choreographed. Her swordsmanship is laboured and she has to swing her arm, shoulder down, in a wide arc, for each stroke. And the strokes are slow, not the rapid cutting strokes one would expect in a sword fight. It almost looks like she is playing dandiya and not sword fighting.
All in all, watch it at your own risk, and if you have nothing better to do!