As one of the world's most famous symbols of love, it's only natural for the Taj Mahal to have been the subject of several movies. The latest filmmaker to be inspired by the story behind the legendary monument is Indian producer/director Akbar Khan, who brings together a fine ensemble cast for Taj Mahal - An Eternal Love Story. Oozing opulence from every pore, this big budget motion picture is more melodramatic history lesson than epic extravaganza.
The Mughals loved and hated with equal passion. None more so than Emperor Shah Jehan (Kabir Bedi), the man who built the spectacular Taj Mahal in memory of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. But it's not just the tragic tale of a mausoleum that Taj Mahal focuses on. Starring newcomers Zulfikar Syed and Sonya Jehan as Prince Khurram (the young Shah Jehan) and his bride, the movie also tells of a royal family in which brothers destroyed each other and sons rebelled against fathers in their rivalry for the throne. As a result India's greatest love story of all time was splattered with blood.
"LESS THAN SPECTACULAR"
Like the Roman epics Hollywood is so fond of making, Khan's Taj Mahal attempts to recreate a glorious golden period of history, and in doing so lays open an important chapter on the Mughal Era. However, having spent a record $15 million and three years making the film, the end result is less than spectacular. With not a single A-list Bollywood star in sight, you are left feeling you have experienced a superior television serial rather than a cinematic feast in the same league as blockbusters like Gladiator or Troy.