The story Akbar the Great(Prithviraj Kapoor) and the doomed love affair of his son Prince Selim(Dilip Kumar) for the court dancer Anarkali (Madhubala).Akbar us furious when he hears of Selim’s love for her because the very existence if the empire is at stake.Prince Selim rebels and leads an army against Akbars forces, but loses and becomes there captive. Akbars court sentences Prince Selim to death, but at a crucial moment, Maan Singh saves the situation by changing the direction of the cannon that was meant to blow up the prince.
Anarkali pleads with Akbar to spare the Prince. In return the Emperor demands that Anarkali forgo her love for the prince and leave the city. She agrees, on the provision that she is granted one night when she can live like his Queen. Her request is granted, after which the Prince is lead to believe that Anarkali has been killed by Akbar and is buried alive in a tomb. In fact, a tunnel leads her away and out of the palace grounds.
This movie is steeped in historical fact so its nice to see historically based stories told in so much glory. The music, is timeless you feel the characters and the situations through them. That is how music should be. The poetry, the set and the costumes give an incredible authentic feeling as though as a member of the audience you are part of the era. Nevertheless, it wouldn't have worked without the brilliant cast. The King is incredibly harsh makes you jump with his deep voice; the Queen behind all that jewellery is a tough old nut who manages to convince of her motherly pain. The head servant has such a chilling, cold beauty that makes you think evil automatically especially with those gorgeous eyes of hers. The Prince looks uncomfortable at times stuck between two people he loves very much (father, true love) however, it's nice to see him mature and understand what he really wants and what he really needs. The one who shines like a gem is Anarkali herself though. Played by Madhubala, who brings the classic grace, beauty to the screen unlike anyone else. She is the essence of the movie. You feel her pain, cry with and even bounce around when she dances into your heart during the stunning number in the Hall of Mirrors. It's hard not to be mesmerized by her, and all I can say is that shame on the Oscars for not recognizing such a gem of a movie and movie star. This is what movies are meant to be about - experiences for the audience and that was one hell of a ride.
The greatest ever Hindi film made that made history. A true masterpiece this movie is a must watch.