Mugal-e-Azam (2004 re-release)
Producer: Shapoorji Pallonji
Director: K Asif
Cast: Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Nigar Sultana, Durga Khote
Part history and part fiction, Mughal-e-Azam has been the best Indian period film ever made till date. The film was made in 15 per cent colour and 85 per cent black and white by K Asif. K Asif wanted to remake the film in colour but looking at the cost they decided not to. The film was made at a cost of 15 million rupees at that time which was a huge sum and it made double the money. And now the film has been totally coloured and the sound digitally remastered. The coloured version is worth a look. The Emperor of Hindustan Jalaluddin Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor) wants an heir to the Mughal throne and he sets off on foot on a tough pilgrimage. He is blessed with a son Salim (Jalal Agha). Salim grows up to be a fine young man (Dilip Kumar) and is pampered a lot and thus becomes vulnerable towards wine and women. Akbar is aghast and in order to discipline his son sends him off on a series of conquests and extend the Mughal Empire. Salim becomes a great warrior. When he returns home after his victory, he sees a 'live' statue Nadira. He falls for the charm of this commoner with mystic beauty. Nadira then performs a brilliant dance number after which Akbar bestows the title of Anarkali on her and confers her post of the court dancer on her. Salim falls in love with Anarkali. They slowly but steadily come closer to each other. Bahar (Nigar Sultana) who wants to marry Salim comes to know of this and complains about the proximity between Salim and Anarkali to Akbar. Akbar barges into Salim's room and Anarkali faints in the young prince's arms. She is thrown into the dungeon. She is freed and she proclaims rebellious love through the song Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya. Salim refuses to let go of Anarkali and is forced into war with his father which he loses. Now an angry Akbar who cannot kill his son orders the execution of Anarkali. The best part of the film is the coloured version and it has created magic. The film looks real. Madhubala as Nadira/Anarkali looks gorgeous. She is the real mystery, a mystique which can or could never be unraveled. The film is definately worth a watch.