Tuesday, February 26, 2008

emperor hotass and the republic of heaven

This emperor. He is a good emperor. He fights crime. He opposes capital punishment. He separates Church and State [well, Mosque and State] in a manner that would, in the 1500s, have earned him a smite with a lightning bolt, had his hair been less gorgeous. He abolishes taxes. He opposes slavery. He espouses an attractive transcendentalism sul-fana that occasionally requires him to get up and dance to the music.

In his spare time, he tames wild elephants. He is an open-minded gourmand. He speaks at least two languages that have not been invented in his time with fluency and poise. He trims his facial hair regularly. He respects women. His voice chokes up and his lashes tremble when he tells his wife he loves her.

And he looks like this.




Seriously, he could just have given everyone the vote and sat back and enjoyed democratic legitimacy for the rest of his life, too. The only thing that could possibly have made him any cooler would have been, like, an iPod Touch or something.

There was a nicely-written role for his ambitious, multi-talented, intellectually sound wife, too, but it feels more difficult to talk about her, possibly because Empress Can't Act doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

[Illiterate as I am, I did not imagine the much-bemoaned historical inaccuracies of the film would bother me, but all the back-and-forth in mutually comprehensible modern languages was really annoying. Instead of making a four-hour film and editing it badly, they could gotten it canned in a regulation three if they'd just had everyone speak like regular people and cut out all the back and forth, with her saying something in her Ramanand Sagar Hindi and him repeating it back to her in his overaspirated Urdu. Fail.

Also, and I realise this is venturing way out into Taking It Seriously territory, am wrong to be bothered by the shakiness of the idea of a secular monarchy? I don't know of too many major kings who did not assert their rights as divine rights - and that renders any attempt at an equal law conceptually crippled. I imagine that's why the Din-i-Illahi idea occurred to Akbar at all, and also why it failed, because it's easy to create a religious schism for realpolitik purposes, but much less so to apply the trickle-down effect on inclusiveness.

But back on topic - not to overstress this or anything - really hot Hrithik Roshan. He was more attractive in Dhoom:2 than anyone who dances like a string puppet and looks like a condom stuffed with walnuts has any right to be, but the moustache, and the bit of extra weight, and the loosely-draped dhotis. Stud. Max. Or as we like to say in English, hnnngh.]

[I've tried and failed to post regularly on this blog for so long now that I'm not even announcing a comeback this time. Suffice to say I have no plans to abandon it, even if it's only you who reads it any more, Mum. I'm a bit more clear and present here these days, though.]