'Jodhaa-Akbar' is a well researched film: Gowarikar

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Mumbai, Feb 16 (UNI) In an attempt to clear the air over his film 'Jodhaa-Akbar', filmmaker Ashutosh Gowarikar today said the magnum opus was based on research and appealed to the people of India, particularly in Rajasthan, to see the movie.

The periodic film has been mired in controversy over depiction of the marriage between Jodhaabai, a Rajput princess, and Mughal Emperor Akbar.

Talking to reporters here, Gowarikar said he had not made the film carelessly nor dreamt it. Only the romance between the two after marriage is fictional. Otherwise, the whole film is based on research.

To prove his point, he showed the mediapersons the books -- 'Madhyakali Bharat', Mediaeval India, Jahangir Namma, 'Jagat Jaipur' and 'Akbar Namma' -- from which he had conducted research for the film. He said he had researched for three years.

The film-maker said if the use of their names had hurt the people's feelings, then it was unintentional.

''I respect every religion and I never took a step in any film to hurt people's sentiments,'' he said.

Asked whether the controversy would help the film do better, Gowarikar said ''No, it doesn't. Every film works on its own merit.

A controversy weakens the details of a film.'' He said he had done lot of research even for his previous films like Oscar-nominated 'Lagaan' and critically acclaimed 'Swades'.

Describing the media as extra strong, he said it was a good way to send the message to the people and added nobody has contacted him so far.

Asked about the length of the film, Gowarikar said as producer and director, he and Ronnie Screwalla, another producer, are aware of it and if the story is entertaining and engaging, a five hour film can grip the audiences and if not engaging, then even a two hour film can be boring.

Asked about creative liberties, he said even in a normal film, one gives a disclaimer about the similarity between person living or dead is coincidental, so when one is making a historical, one has to indicate that the makers had tried to be responsible.

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