Jodhaa Akbar- "I am the Queen of my own Mind!": Hot Emperor he may be, but she's also a Fiery Princess.

 Jodhaa Akbar has to be my favourite film in the past 10ish years. It's a collection of history, culture, love, and, politics. Throw in two of Bollywood's most beautiful actors as a Muslim Mughal Emperor and a Hindu Rajput Princess, and I'm surprised that our T.V sets didn't sizzle with hotness. The chemistry between these two was amazing and simply mesmerising. 

Jodhaa (Aishwariya Rai) and Akbar (Hrithik Roshan) have an arranged marriage. Jodhaa isn't a happy bunny because she's not your average C16 *nod-nod* Princess. She stands up for what she believes in. However, she has to marry Akbar for political reasons. So she's basically a political pawn in the game of two MEN. She tries to regain control of this arrangement by insisting that a genuine, loving "meeting of the minds" has to ensue before there are any "physical" relationships between herself and Akbar. 
(Even though she totally tries to *check him out* when he's semi-naked.) Naughty Jodhaa. Tut tut. 
 Here are my following reasons as to why Jodhaa is a protio-feminist*. 

*A proto-feminist is someone who fought for Women's Rights before "Feminism" existed. 

1. SHE RIDES A HORSE and goes off to war even though she's been warned of the dangers. But she wants to save her Emperor and help him fight the battle. She's a Warrior Princess. YEAAAHHH!!

2. She has the guts to demand the King to a) grant her a meeting before marriage in an age when only Upper-Class Male Royalty had the privilege of making such demands. 

b)...only to set not ONE, but TWO conditions to their marriage before she agrees to marry Akbar. 

3. Not only does she maintain her religion (Hinduism), she outwardly states that she will be actively practicing it. Now imagine you're a Hindu lady in the 16th Century, bypassing your Father and demanding this from a Muslim Male Emperor. 

Lover's tiff. He's grated her cheese. BIG time. 
4. She denies Akbar sex on their suhaag raat (wedding/consummation night), because she has no emotional connection to him. Ironically, denying a Husband sex is actually the right of a Muslim Wife (which Akbar quotes to her.) 

He's not happy. 
5. She challenges the King saying that he needs to figure out the small things which make her happy, and not expect the material luxuries he can easily offer to impress her. She wants him to know her first, because the material security is external stuff. She has enough of her own material things. 

6. When the King gets all testosterone-y and masculine-y, and is completely tactless and insensitive at HER without listening to her, she feels annoyed and deeply hurt at the same time. She feels like she wants to get through to him, but he just doesn't want to know. 

7. When Akbar is given the full story by his Mother, his ego deflates quicker than a balloon squashed by a fat butt. He realises what a complete unfair and rotten egg he's been. So he comes to get his Princess, and BOY does she play hard to get. YEAHHHHH!! You go Jodhaa!!! :P All their  building sexual tension is so obvious in their sword fight when he tries to win her. 

*Title quote can be found in this vid at the end.

8. BUT, when she loses, she still refuses to go back to Him because she didn't lose 'fairly.' 

9. Only when Akbar Mans up and starts making some changes within his etiquette with others and changes the Law, does she start softening toward him. She's impressed because he's changed the Law to create a more fair society. This shows that he's an active King and not just a 'trophy' King. And it's THIS "speaking up for what's right" which makes her go emotionally crazy for him. "Hume aana hi para, aap ne jo hamara... dil jo jeet liya!" (I had to come. After all, you won my heart!") 
People start respecting him. Mummy Dearest is happy. Whoo. 

No prizes for guessing what Akbar's *prize* is. Ahem.

10. Her proto-feminism isn't just limited to how she challenges Akbar. She empowers the other women in the household, building a strong, trusting and loving relationship with her mother-in-law, and subtly revealing what a snake-in-the-grass Akbar's wet-nurse is. 

Jodhaa's character simply plays against the typical conventional, submissive "housewifey" role. She knocks sense into the Mughal Emperor, maturing and moulding him rapidly through their relationship and getting him to identify the flaws he has before he's fit to be truly be King; both of India AND of her heart. We need more Jodhaa's in our royal films! :) 


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