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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The Legend of Maula Jatt: An indelible saga

The Legend of Maula Jatt continues to dominate at the box office as the film has become the highest grossing Punjabi film globally. According to Maula Jatt’s official Instagram account, the film has made $7.8 million at the worldwide box office within four weeks of its release.

Since the release of The Legend of Maula Jatt (TLMOJ), Pakistanis have been invading their local cinemas. It is reportedly the first national movie that has earned more than 150 Crore Rupees. Not only locally but also overseas the feature film gained an adequate response. Bilal Lashari’s chef d’oeuvre has beaten South Indian blockbuster RRR and Amir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha in Britain.

Before talking about the current TLMOJ, let’s look into the previous Maula Jatt (1979) and its enthralling political relevance. General Zia Ul Haq’s martial law movies were used as a tool to build political sketches because in newspapers the opposing narrative was censored.

Read more: Karan Johar spotted watching The Legend of Maula Jatt

According to the film’s producer Muhammad Sarwar Bhatti, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was portrayed as Maula Jatt while Noori Nath was General Zia.

The film’s lines were used by politicians at each other

Film writer Nasir Adeeb recalls when former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in an election campaign rally adduced Noori’s dialogue “Nava ayaa ae, soneya” (You must be new here, sweetheart). Also, when former President Asif Ali Zardari was questioned regarding the assassination threat he faced. “Maulay nu Maula na maarey te Maula ni mardaa.” (Maula can’t perish unless Maula kills Maula), he replied.

Coming towards the current TLMOJ, Bilal Lashari once said that every country has its own local heroes and tales. For instance, the Japanese have Samurai and they capitalize on their stories, he wants to show our local tales in the same manner. He actually did that in a very sophisticated manner.

Young Maula (Fawad Khan) witnesses the murder of his parents by the enemy clan’s members. Maula is tenderly raised by a foster mother who prioritizes him over her own biological son, but she still can’t get rid of the nightmares from that gruesome incident. The prizefighter must eventually leave his regular arena, channel his repressed rage, and unleash his renowned Gandasa (a big axe-like weapon, which becomes a symbol of egalitarianism in the movie) tow on the tyrants. The motivation of personal retribution must give way to a just, human search for justice.

Moda (Faris Shafi) who becomes Maula’s cohort and never gives up on him, is a character who shows the true example of a loyal friend. The sister of Noorie, Daro (Humaima Malik), excels in the depths of her part. Humamia genuinely gave a performance she can be proud of retiring from and yet be known as the renowned performer who played Daro for the rest of her life. Gohar Rasheed played the role of Makhhah, the younger son of the Natt clan. Rasheed has frequently played antagonistic characters, but playing a role with such intricate workings is difficult for anyone to do.

Rasheed succeeded in playing his role. Mukho (Mahira Khan) is the beloved of Maula. Though Mahira’s Anglo-Punjabi accent is not synchronized with her role. But still, she has done a pretty good job. The eldest son of the Natt clan, Noorie Natt (Hamza Ali Abbasi), has been living in seclusion for years because, up until the appearance of Maula Jatt, he had no challenges to face in the outer world. Both Hamza and Fawad are the main actors in the movie and both of them have done exceptionally well.

Read more: The legend of Maula Jatt puts Pakistani cinema on the world stage

Noorie is without a doubt evil, but Sohneya always closes his dialogue, and every line he speaks sounds poetic. Despite being aware of how villainous Noorie is, the audience is captivated by his play. Fawad brilliantly changed his role from a modern decent hero into a historical Viking like desi bruiser good guy who fights against oppression.

Talking about cinematography, everything was exquisite. The fighting scenes give classic Game of Thrones vibes. Production quality compared with any Pakistani movie is unmatched. The acapella Chan Pichay was the most melodious part of the movie. I hope that they will release a complete version of it. The story has been greatly altered by Lashari; therefore, the movie is neither a prequel nor a remake of the famed Maula Jatt.
There is barely anything obnoxious about the movie. Many people like me would like to watch it again. TLOMJ will be remembered as a pioneer of Pakistani cinema’s revival. Like they sang in the movie:Duniya te apni kahani reh jani (The world will remember our saga)


Written by Huzaifa Mazhar Khan

The writer is a Public Policy Sophomore and a columnist. He has also worked in DBTV as an analyst and TV show host. He tweets @HuzaifaM_Khan. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.