Thursday, 10 March 2011


Director: K.Asif
Starring: Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Nigar Sultana
Released: 1960
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

Once upon a time in India there lived a mighty and wise Emperor, who united the country and overcame the differences between the various religions, that had rooted in his country. He was known as Mughal-E-Azam, the Greatest of the Mughals, and his name was Akbar the Great. Seemingly having all, there was one thing he did not possess and no pearly, diamonds and other riches could ever buy it. Because Akbar the Great was childless. So the Emperor forgot all his pride and on foot he made a long pilgrimage to a sacred place, where he was assured his Queen Jodhaa would surely give a birth to a child. And indeed several months later Prince Salim was born into a golden cradle. However the love he had been given turned him into a spoilt and selfish person. For a long time his atrocities were being overlooked, but after he disgraced the sacred Scales of Justice, his father finally found the will to punish him. Sending him away from the palace, he ordered his son to be raised by soldiers on battlefields. For fourteen years Salim lerned and grew as a warrior, he gained respect and discipline.

The time came for him to return to his parents. After a grand welcome he is given a rather curious gift. A statue, at whose feet according to its maker a warrior will lay his sword, a king his crown and a person his heart. The beauty of the statue is truly breathtaking and Prince is deeply impressed. And looses his heart almost instantly, when the statue actually moves and says: „I´m not an angel. I´m a human being.“ With this sentence begins a story of Salim and Anarkali, that will almost destroy the future of the great Mughal empire...
Princes and maids never had it easy...

If there is any movie that can be labelled as „legendary“ it is without a shadow of doubt Mughal-E-Azam. Its breath-taking visual glory, moving and sensitive love story, excellent acting – everything is pure genius. The man of vision here was the perfectionist very much passionate about the project – K. Asif. This man was planning Mughal-E-Azam for almost sixteen years and the shooting itself lasted another nine. The story is based on a popular legend about turbulent young years of Emperor Nur-ud-din Salim Jahangir, that supposedly took place at the end of the 15th century. It was not made into a film for the first time. In 1928 there was a movie called „Loves of a Mughal Prince“ and in 1953 it was „Anarkali“. However none of these can match up to the epic Mughal-E-Azam, into which so much effort, love and pain was invested. All you need to do is to look here and you will understand some of the reasons why this film is extraordinary.

What to say about acting here? Every single one of the actors built a monument for themselves, be it the dignified Prithviraj Kapoor, charismatic Dilip Kumar or the eternally beautiful Madhubala. Add to it a wonderful music, enchanting costumes and sets, beautiful cinematography, script chisselled to perfection – what do you have? A timeless story on the verge of fairytale, but still realistic enough, that manages to charm even 50 years after it first came to the theaters. 
Salim and Anarkali - eternal lovers


  1. It's a brilliant movie, isn't it? Best thing about it is the brilliant almost poetic dialogues in pure urdu.

  2. It is a brilliant movie! Unfortunatelly I cannot appreciate the urdu, as I have no knowledge whatsoever about Indian languages.