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JODHAA AJKBAR-so magnificent like this in a long, long time on the Hindi screen.

As a cinematic experience, it would be wrong to compare JODHAA AKBAR to any of Ashutosh Gowariker's previous endeavors. Why, it would be erroneous to compare the film with any film ever made before in this genre. This one stands out and stands out the tallest.

To sum up, JODHAA AKBAR leaves you spellbound, enthralled, entranced and awestruck. Ashutosh Gowariker makes the legendary characters come alive on screen. Take a bow, Ashu!

One of the prime reasons why JODHAA AKBAR works is because the present-day viewer is unaware of the romance between Akbar and Jodhaa. Sure, we all know of Akbar as a great emperor, but the love story makes for a refreshing subject. And the execution of a number of sequences makes JODHAA AKBAR extremely special.

Some instances:
* The war sequence at the very outset. You realize the scale and magnitude of the film at the very beginning.
* Hrithik taming an out-of-control elephant. It's hair-raising.
* The two pre-conditions set by Jodhaa, before her marriage to Akbar. Very interesting.
* The confrontation between Ila Arun and Ash at the kitchen, when Ash decides to make the meal herself.
* The immediate sequence, when Ash is asked to taste the food herself by Ila before she's about to serve the food to the Emperor and his associates. Once done, Hrithik demanding that he be served the meal from the same platter that Jodhaa had used.
* The intermission point, which sows the seeds of a misunderstanding between Hrithik and Ash.
* Post-interval, Hrithik returning to Amer to get Ash back to Agra and the welcome ceremony by his mother-in-law [Suhasini Mulay].
* The sword fight the very next morning, between Hrithik and Ash.
* The 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' track, when the entire kingdom hails Hrithik.
* The fight in the climax [reminds you of the fight between Brad Pitt and Eric Bana in TROY].
Amazing moments indeed…

Ashutosh Gowariker knows that historicals have to be simplified while narrating on celluloid so that the moviegoer is able to grasp and comprehend the plotline and the sequence of events. Thankfully, JODHAA AKBAR is not in the least difficult to decipher. Gowariker's handling of the subject deserves the highest praise, for it's not everyday that you come across a film like JODHAA AKBAR.

JODHAA AKBAR also works because of the right casting. It's difficult to imagine anyone else in the role of Emperor Akbar. Hrithik seems born to play this role and he enacts it with such precision, such flourish, such confidence that it leaves you asking for more. A mind-boggling performance without doubt!

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is superb. Oh yes, she looks ethereal -- a compliment she has heard a trillion times before. What's new in that? But watch her emote in this film. You realize the amazing talent that has hitherto not been tapped by any movie maker. A flawless performance indeed!

On the whole, JODHAA AKBAR is, without a shred of doubt, a brilliant film in all respects. This historical has all it takes to prove the first blockbuster of 2008.

Tendulkar reclaims number one spot in ODIs

Dubai: Two match-winning knocks against Australia in the tri-series finals have propelled Sachin Tendulkar back to the position of world's number one ODI batsman displacing the vanquished Australian skipper Ricky Ponting in the ICC Rankings today.

Tendulkar is seven rating points clear of Ponting, who had a miserable run with the bat during the series and struggled against a young Indian attack.

The second-placed Ponting is followed by South African captain Graeme Smith at the third spot.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who became the first Indian wicketkeeper to score more than 300 runs and effect 20 dismissals in a series, is at the 10th spot with 728 points, just five below ninth-placed Herschelle Gibbs.

Dhoni's deputy Yuvraj Singh occupies the 18th position with 691 points.

Meanwhile, the historic triumph has helped India gain three rating points to move just a fraction behind third-placed New Zealand in the ICC ODI Championship table, where Australia's lead on top was trimmed to a bare minimum.

Australia, which entered the series on 130 ratings points, dropped to 127 points, the same as second-placed South Africa but above Graeme Smith's side when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.

Cricket Upcoming Schedules

Match Date Team Time Type Venue
3/5/2008 New Zealand vs England 03:00 (IST) 1st Test Hamilton
3/9/2008 Bangladesh vs South Africa 09:00 (IST) 1st ODI Chittagong
3/12/2008 Bangladesh vs South Africa 09:00 (IST) 2nd ODI Dhaka
3/13/2008 New Zealand vs England 03:00 (IST) 2nd Test Wellington
3/14/2008 Bangladesh vs South Africa 09:00 (IST) 3rd ODI Dhaka
3/18/2008 Bangladesh vs Ireland 09:00 (IST) 1st ODI Dhaka
3/20/2008 Bangladesh vs Ireland 09:00 (IST) 2nd ODI Dhaka
3/22/2008 New Zealand vs England 03:00 (IST) 3rd Test Napier
3/22/2008 Bangladesh vs Ireland 09:00 (IST) 3rd ODI Dhaka
3/22/2008 West Indies vs Sri Lanka 19:30 (IST) 1st Test Guyana
3/26/2008 India vs South Africa 10:00 (IST) 1st Test Chennai (Madras)
4/3/2008 India vs South Africa 10:00 (IST) 2nd Test Ahmedabad
4/3/2008 West Indies vs Sri Lanka 19:30 (IST) 2nd Test Trinidad
4/10/2008 West Indies vs Sri Lanka 19:00 (IST) 1st ODI Trinidad
4/11/2008 India vs South Africa 10:00 (IST) 3rd Test Kanpur
4/12/2008 West Indies vs Sri Lanka 19:00 (IST) 2nd ODI Trinidad
4/16/2008 West Indies vs Sri Lanka 00:00 (IST) 3rd ODI St Lucia

India tame Australia to create history

Brisbane: The three-month long tour Down Under could not have ended on a better note for India. An incredible 2-0 win over the World Champions in the CB series marks the young Indian team’s announcement in world cricket as a force to reckon with.

After bagging the first final in Sydney, India beat the Aussies by nine runs at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday. Chasing 259 to square the series, Australia were bundled out for 249 with two balls to spare. The stars of the show were Sachin Tendulkar, who scored a polished 91, and medium-pacer Praveen Kumar, who claimed four crucial wickets to halt the hosts in their tracks.Weldone Indians...



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