Taj All Set To Enamour Dubai!

Taj Mahal is a glorious passage of history to life.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 | 12:00:00 AM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Akbar Khan's magnum opus, following two National Awards for Best Costume and<a href=Akbar Khan" hspace=5 src="" align=right vspace=5 border=0> Art Direction, is now creating history again. This time as the first and the only film to get a world premiere, more than a year post its Indian release. Director Akbar Khan will present the Director's Cut of ‘Taj Mahal’, a revised, shortened version of the film at the 2007 Dubai International Film Festival, at Dubai from December 9 – 16, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, PM and Ruler of Dubai and under the Honorary Chairman of His Highness Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of The Emirates Group.

The Festival will feature a comprehensive selection of contemporary cinema from around the globe, reflecting Dubai's multi-cultural and multi-ethnic community, and which will serve as an effective platform for inter-cultural dialogue and global understanding. Akbar Khan's Taj Mahal finds its glory in being included as a "Historical

Staj_mahalpectacular Classic." Especially at a time when Taj has been reaffirmed as the seventh wonder of the world , confirming its global popularity. Says Akbar Khan, "We got a call from the authorities who wanted to see the film for the Dubai festival. I sent the film and it got selected. I felt most happy at the selection. But my happiest moment was when I got acknowledgement from our Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh."

Incidentally, Taj Mahal is also the first film to have had an exclusive screening hosted by the Ambassador of Turkey, Hasan Gogus for over 60 ambassadors. Gogus avers that Akbar Khan's magnum opus"brought out the splendour of an era bygone, both in terms of compassion and technical excellence… a rich tribute to the historic monument which speaks of the proud passions of an Emperor's love wrought in living stones."

Recalls Akbar Khan, "it was a great honour when over 60 ambassadors saw the film and I had a standing ovation after the show. With the ongoing recognition with the Dubai fest, and the fresh censor certificate on the Director's Cut, this is just the beginning of the revival of the Taj."

Made at an estimated mammoth budget of Rs 70 crore, 'Taj Mahal recreates the Mughal era through opulent sets, royal costumes and jewellery, as Akbar Khan, engagingly narrates the eternal love between emperor Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

The marble inlay work, furnishing and hundreds of akbar_khancarpets -embellished with typical Mughal motifs -were designed individually for every set. The maker recreated Agra fort where Shah Jahan was kept imprisoned for seven to eight years and from where he would watch the Taj Mahal.

The costumes were researched thoroughly by Anna Singh. Khan even acquired authentic pieces of artillery and weaponry for the main stars. Thn'e screenplay carefully integrated the characters during the time of Anjuman Bano and Shah Jahan. Interestingly, even none of the history books delve into this. While the music is timeless, thanks to Naushad and lyricist Naqsh Layallpuri who followed Khan's vision, an American technical crew was part of the special effects and computer graphics in the battle scenes and in the building of the monument.

"Taj Mahal is a glorious passage of history to life. It strives to transport viewers to the times of the Peacock Throne and to experience a romance that turned into an eternal love story," elaborates Akbar Khan, who seems to have renewed energies with the re-emergence of Taj Mahal at the Dubai Fest this year.  Actors Pooja Batra, Manisha Koirala and Kabir Bedi will also attend the Dubai festival to view Akbar Khan's Director's Cut of Taj Mahal – An Eternal Love Story.

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