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Taj MahalTaj Mahal - Review
19th Nov 2005  02.00 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  


Taj Mahal is a film worth watching once. The movie delineates, in detail, the story of Shahjahan's love, Noor Jahan's intrigue and Aurangzeb's greed.

Made at an estimated mammoth budget of Rs 70 crores, the movie stars a host of actors including Zulfi Syed , Sonya Jehan , Kabir Bedi , Arbaaz Khan , Pooja Batra , Kim Sharma and Manisha Koirala .




Directed by Akbar Khan , 'Taj Mahal' tries to authentically recreate the Mughal era through opulent sets, royal costumes and jewellery. But the movie is more than just a mere costume drama. It is a very simply told tale of love.

The movie begins with the battles between Aurangzeb (Arbaaz Khan) and his three brothers Dara Shikoh, Suja and Murad. Blinded by his greed for power, Aurangzeb kills his three brothers and sends the severed head of Dara Shikoh (Shahajan's favorite son) to his ageing father Shahjahan (Kabir Bedi).

Aurangzeb accedes to the throne and holds his father Shahjahan and his elder sister Jahan Aara (Manisha Koirala) in captivity.

Spending the last days of his life in captivity, a frail and nostalgic Shahjahan begins to narrate to Jahan Aara the tale of his love with Mumtaj Mahal.

The movie goes into flashback and we see a young Shahjahan aka Prince Khurram (Zulfi Syed).

During one of his rides in the jungle, Prince Khurram sees a beautiful Arjumand aka Mumtaj Mahal (Sonya Jehan) and falls in love with her.

But this match is not acceptable to Khurram's scheming stepmother, Noor Jahan (Pooja Batra), who wants the prince to wed her daughter from another marriage, Ladli Begum (Kim Sharma). Noor Jahan wants to ensure that in future the throne passes on to someone from her lineage.

Shahjahan's love for Mumtaj Mahal is unshakable. He marries her. But their lives are still stirred by the politics played by the members of the family. As Mumtaj Mahal breathes her last, Shah Jahan promises her to build a monument in the memory of their love.

To make a movie on one of the seven wonders of the world is indeed a daunting task. To narrate an age-old story of love between emperor Shahjahan and Mumtaj Mahal, to depict the greed of Aurangzeb and to recreate the last days of an emperor who spent his old age in captivity, is a big cinematic challenge. Akbar Khan, the director of 'Taj Mahal', succeeds, but only partially.



Related
Taj Mahal
Zulfi Syed
Sonya Jehan
Kabir Bedi
Arbaaz Khan
Pooja Batra
Kim Sharma
Manisha Koirala
Akbar Khan





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