Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story
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|Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story!|
|Directed by||Akbar Khan|
|Produced by||Akbar Khan|
|Written by||Mohafiz Hyder|
|Music by||Naushad Ali|
|Distributed by||Mashreq Communications Ltd.|
|Box office||₹311 million|
Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story is a 2005 Bollywood historical drama film directed by Akbar Khan. The movie starred Kabir Bedi, Sonya Jehan, Manisha Koirala, Arbaaz Khan, Vaquar Shaikh and Pooja Batra in the title roles. The movie was released on 18 November in India.
Music was composed by the legend of Indian film music Naushad Ali. This was the last work of Naushad Ali who died on 5 May 2006.
It was the most expensive Indian film at the time, surpassing the budget of Devdas (2002) and costing more than ₹500 million ($11.34 million). The film was released in Pakistan by Eveready Pictures and did record business at the box office. However, the film was a financial failure in India, where it grossed only ₹210 million, bringing its worldwide gross to ₹311 million ($7.1 million).
The story begins with Shah Jahan, known as Prince Khurram (Zulfikar Sayed) when he is about 19 years old. Khurram was Emperor Jahangir's (Arbaaz Ali) favourite son, whom Jahangir wanted to be the future Emperor of India, along with his wife Nur Jahan (Pooja Batra), who was well aware of this fact. Noor Jahan was married once previously, but when her first husband died, Jahangir married her. Ladli Begum (Kim Sharma) is Noor Jahan's daughter from her first marriage. Noor Jahan is a shrewd lady, who wants the best for herself and her daughter and she aspires for Ladli Begum to marry Prince Khurram so she that she will become the Empress of the Mughal Dynasty.
Khurram's passion for hunting leads him into a jungle, and one day while hunting he meets Arjumand Bano. Their meeting was love at first sight, with Khurram attracted to Arjumand Bano's innocence and beauty while Arjumand was impressed by Khurram's great personality. Arjumand Bano is Asaf Khan's (Aly Khan) daughter, Empress Noor Jahan's brother. Khurram and Bano again meet at the Meena Bazaar, where finally both of them declare their love for each other. Ladli Begum comes to know about their love, but she keeps on wooing Prince Khurram. Noor Jahan sees this love as a hindrance to her plans of making her daughter the future Empress of India and she succeeds in turning Emperor Jahangir against his own son, Khurram.
Noor Jahan sends her secret lover and the warrior Mahabat Khan (Milind Gunaji) to fight Khurram and to kill Arjumand Bano. As a result, a war takes place in which forces are also sent by Emperor Jahangir against Khurram. When Khurram meets Jahangir, he declares that Arjumand Bano was more superior to him than the Mughal Dynasty. As a result, relations become even more bitter between the father and the son. However, Arjumand Bano, who was a peace-loving person, agreed to forget Khurram and asked him to marry Kandahari Begum (Negar Khan), an Iranian Princess, who was chosen by Emperor Jahangir for Khurram. Khurram, due to Arjumand's insistence, marries Kandahari Begum while on the other hand, Ladli Begum marries to Khurram's brother. After Emperor Jahangir dies, Khurram becomes Prince Shah Jahan and ruler of the Mughal dynasty. He finally marries the love of his life, Arjumand Bano, who becomes Mumtaz Mahal. The couple lives happily for a while until misfortune occurs.
Khurram must leave for war, but a pregnant Aarjumand chooses to also go with him, as she used to accompany Shah Jahan in all his battles. Khurram tries to return to the camp from the battle but takes a long time to return as he forgets his way. While he is lost, Mumtaz Mahal dies while giving birth to her nineteenth child. During her last breath, Mumtaz Mahal asks Shah Jahan to construct her tomb in a beautiful mausoleum, describing one which would be so beautiful it would express their love for each other to all who visit the mausoleum. Mumtaz's death is the greatest tragedy for Shah Jahan, and as a result, he becomes a completely reformed person. Shah Jahan then starts off to fulfill his wife's last wish, to build Taj Mahal, a beautiful mausoleum to honour the also beautiful Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal goes on to become the Seventh Wonder of the World.
Time passes, and in future Shah Jahan's sons and daughter grow up. The sons are greedy and eager to inherit their father powers, and as a result, they imprison him in a room from where he can easily see Taj Mahal. He watches his sons fighting against each other to become the Emperor of India and the Mughal Dynasty. Everywhere around him there is violence and warfare, with the beheading of slaves and even brothers are no longer uncommon. In the end, Khurram dies while looking at Taj Mahal, the Taj Mahal that took an astonishing 22 years to be made, a tribute showing Shah Jahan as the greatest lover of all time. At his death, his body is laid down next to his love, hence resulting in the culmination of their love after death.
- Kabir Bedi as Emperor Shah Jahan, also known as Prince Khurram, who proved to be the emperor of lovers, created one of the wonders of the world. He authored a legend and made history.
- Zulfi Syed as The Young Prince Khurram/future Emperor Shah Jahan, the boldest and the most favourite son of the Emperor of India and the most suitable heir to the throne. His love for the beautiful Arjumand Bano (the future Empress Mumtaz Mahal) has defied his father's kingdom and proved that true love conquers all.
- Sonya Jehan as Arjumand Bano/Empress Mumtaz Mahal, whose kind-hearted and innocent personality has captured the heart of Prince Khurram. She will be written in history as the future emperor's third wife but considered as the most unusual because she was the only one who kindled the flame of love in the heart of Prince Khurram and stood by him even if their love was tested by the people around them. The Taj Mahal was built as a testimony of their true love for each other.
- Manisha Koirala as Jahan Ara, the eldest and angelic daughter of Shah Jahan, who devotedly kept company to her father in the dying years of his life, and who showered love and affections on all her brothers and sisters.
- Pooja Batra as Empress Nur Jahan, the conniving and politically manipulative Empress of India who wants to be considered by everyone as a beauty queen. She is the real power behind the throne and treated everyone in court as pawns and will do anything to make Ladli Begum, her first daughter from her first marriage become the future empress. With this great power and ambition, she could conspire for her niece Arjumand, to be killed due to her connection with Prince Khurram, just for her political ambitions.
- Arbaaz Ali Khan as Emperor Jahangir, famous to be steadfast in administering justice but in the matter of his son, Prince Khurram's love for Arjumand, he was far from just.
- Kim Sharma as Ladli Begum, the obsessive and ambitious daughter of Noor Jahan from her first husband, Sher Afgan. Noor Jahan had already laid the destiny and ambition of her daughter. She was never sure for her whom to end up with between Prince Khurram and Prince Shahryar but her heart craved for the crown of the Empress of India.
- Vaquar Sheikh as Dara Shikoh, the saintly and scholarly heir-apparent of Emperor Shah Jahan who was dethroned from his status at the end of the only battle he ever fought waged by his hateful younger brother Aurangzeb, and ultimately, was brutally executed.
- Arbaaz Khan as Aurangzeb, who justified the means to achieve his end to ascend the glorious Moghul throne. He house-arrested his father Emperor Shah Jahan, got his eldest brother Dara Shikoh beheaded, imprisoned another brother Murad Baksh and persecuted the last brother Shah Shuja.
- Milind Gunaji as Mahabat Khan
- Negar Khan as Princess Kandahari
|Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||16 March 2005|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Naushad Ali chronology|
Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story was the last work of renowned musician Naushad Ali, who died on 5 May 2006. The audio was formally released at a gala event in Mumbai at ITC Grand Central Sheraton & Towers, Parel on 16 March 2005 by Times Music in tandem with the home label Mashreq Music. The album had some classy songs composed by the maestro that encapsulates the Mughal era. The soundtrack album consists 8 songs, featuring vocals by Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Preeti Uttam and Ajoy Chakraborty, and an instrumental theme. A special edition Double CD, consisting of the soundtrack album and 9 instrumental pieces that were used as the background score in the movie was also released. This was the first time in India that the background score of a film was released simultaneously with the music release. The lyrics were penned by Naqsh Lyallpuri and Syed Gulrez Rashid. The background score was the major highlight of the film.
The album received excellent reviews from critics. The director of the film Akbar Khan quoted, "My film's music needed either a Tansen, a Beethoven or a Naushad...I was only left with the last choice! With the power of his spell bounding music, Naushad has managed to recreate the magic of the bygone era, perfectly complimenting the mood of the film. The music does not touch the eardrum & bounces back, but penetrates and lives in the soul of people." The note by Naushad about this work was "I have composed the music of Taj Mahal – an eternal love story after a long gap. In my opinion, Taj Mahal, the film created by Akbar Khan is made out of sheer love, passion and dedication and he has managed to completely absorb the essence of Mughal history with an in depth knowledge of every character. I have seen the film and can confidently say that Akbar Khan has left no stone unturned in making this epic saga and has narrated history in a very simplistic manner. I am sure the film will appeal greatly to cinema lovers. With respect to the music of Taj Mahal – an eternal love story, I have strived to deliver the kind of music that Akbar Khan had in mind, melody being the chief focus. I sincerely hope that I have not let him down and that the music is liked by music aficionados. I have composed music for other films of the mughal era including Shah Jehan, Baiju Bawra and Mughal e Azam but each film requires different treatment depending on the situation, environment, characters, theme etc, hence I refuse to be drawn into comparisons. I trust I have been able to do justice to the brief given to me by Akbar Khan for his film. I must use this occasion to also complement Times Music in taking the commendable step of releasing the background score that I have created at the same time in a separate CD along with the music of the film the two go very much hand in hand. It is equally important to promote the background score of a film which is in fact much more difficult to compose as compared to the music score. Lastly, with every new composition, it still feels that I have just begun and there is a lot more to achieve..."
- Disc 1
- Apni Zulfein Mere – Hariharan
- Dilruba Dilruba – Hariharan, Preeti Uttam
- Ishq Ki Daastaan – Kavita Krishnamurthy, Preeti Uttam
- Mumtaz Tujhe Dekha – Hariharan, Preeti Uttam
- Taj Mahal – Hariharan, Preeti Uttam
- Tareefe Meena Bazaar – Instrumental
- Yeh Kaun Mujhe Yaad Aaya – Ajoy Chakraborty
- Taj Mahal (Crescendo) – Hariharan, Preeti Uttam
- Disc 2
- Mumtaz's Theme (Part 1) – Instrumental
- Jehanara's Karavan – Instrumental
- Khushamdid – Instrumental
- The Birth & The Death – Instrumental
- Meena Bazaar – Instrumental
- The Siege – Instrumental
- Shah Jehan's Theme – Instrumental
- Mughal Intrigue – Instrumental
- Mumtaz's Theme (Part 2) – Instrumental
The film was pulled away from cinemas in just the second week in India because producer-director Akbar Khan felt that the distributor Mukta Arts had badly sabotaged the film and sold it very callously throughout India. Proper shows weren't allocated to the film due to which the film couldn't earn good collections. Akbar said that his film was marketed very poorly with a lot of people not even knowing about the film's release.
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- "Taj Mahal - An Eternal Love Story". Box Office India. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- "Taj Mahal (2005)". IBOS Network. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- Kotwani, Hiren (10 March 2016). "'Children of Heaven' maker Majid Majidi to watch Akbar Khan's 'Taj Mahal'". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- Avijit, Anshul (9 December 2002). "Akbar Khan's ambitious epic Taj Mahal slated to become India's most expensive film". India Today. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)". World Bank. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- "Pakistanis eager to see Taj Mahal movie". glamsham.com. 9 June 2005. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
- Plot review