After the longest wait, Bilal Lashari’s film ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ has been released in cinemas across the world including Pakistan, and is being talked about on social media.
According to an estimate, ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ is the most expensive film in the history of Pakistan with a budget of around Rs 40 crore. Its first trailer was released in 2018, but its production was delayed due to sometimes lawsuits and sometimes unavailability of actors.
After the trailer of the film and then the announcement of its release this year, observers were expecting that ‘The Legend of Mola Jat’ could prove to be a ‘game changer’ and a ‘big blockbuster’ for the Pakistani film industry.
The film has been presented for release in many countries of the world including Pakistan, America, England, Canada, and Australia and according to the reports, the largest cinema in the European country Norway and the ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ in Washington DC, the capital of America. The first show is a full house. But Pakistan’s three major cinema companies Nuplex, Cinepaks, and Cinestar have not started advance bookings for ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ and have not included it in the schedule on October 14.
According to the sources, negotiations between the officials of these three cinema chains are going on with the film’s distributor, Nadeem Mandviwala. The cinema management says that they have reservations about several demands of the producers, including increasing the ticket price of the film, due to which the film was not screened.
How popular is the film with the fans? It will become clear in the coming days, but with its release, the mystery has been solved that ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ is neither a remake of the 1979 film ‘Moolajit’ nor is it an old film. There is a sequel. Rather, it is being called ‘Reboot’ in which the characters are more or less the same but their story is different from the previous film.
What is the difference between ‘Mola Jatt’ and ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’?
In ‘Mola Jat’, it was clear that the characters of the story belong to Pakistani Punjab and it also depicted more or less the same era, in which the place and era of the story can be easily guessed from the scenes of the police and hospital, etc.
But ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ is presented in the form of a fictional world or fantasy in which the exact period of this story cannot be guessed and Kot Mithan is mentioned in the film which can be guessed. This story is from Punjab.
The main character of the story is Maula Jat (Fawad Khan) who is an undefeated wrestler in his region. But when he stands up against Jeeva (Shafaqat Cheema), the chief of the rival clan ‘Nat’, to save the honor of the villagers, he has no idea how many homes will be engulfed by this fire of hatred.
In the film, ‘Mola Jat’ sometimes competes with ‘Nuri Nat’ (Hamza Ali Abbasi) and sometimes with her younger brother ‘Makha’ (Gohar Rashid) or her only sister ‘Daro’ (Humaima Malik). The competition comes.
Maula Jat’s childhood friend ‘Mukho’ (Mahira Khan) falls in love with her while Maula’s taciturn brother Muda (Faris Shafi) is always with her like a shadow. Maula Jat’s parents die. After that, he is raised by Muda’s mother (Raheela Agha) who loves Mula more than her own son so that he doesn’t have to relive the childhood tragedy that changed his life.
The story takes a dramatic turn when Moola finds out what happened to her father after seeing his father’s Gandasa. As the trauma of the past is remembered, the blood rushes to Mola Jat’s head, to stop it, Noori Nath has to come out of the prison where he has imprisoned himself to defeat the powerful inmates and regain his power. Can prove superiority.
In the film directed by Bilal Lashari, Fawad Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi played the roles of ‘Mola Jat’ and ‘Nuri Naat’ who were immortalized by Sultan Rahi and Mustafa Qureshi in ‘Mola Jat’.
If there is anything in common between these two Punjabi films made with these characters, it is that the dialogues and scripts of both of them are written by Nasir Adeeb. Apart from this, the story of both the films and the fate of the characters are completely different from each other.
Director Bilal Lashari’s film, Kahani Ka Rukh traces the events that happened to Moula Jat in her childhood that changed her life. While in the old film Moolah Jat is a character who has fear but has left his past behind.
Makha Nat’s touch on a girl pits Mula Jat against Nat and then when the conflict escalates, the situation forces him to take a Gandasa. Compared to this, the story of ‘The Legend of Mola Jat’ and its reasons are completely different. But the film’s script and dialogues have carved out powerful characters from two distinct situations that are similar yet different from each other.
Separate ‘Mola’ and ‘Noori’ of both the films
Casting another actor in a story or film that dominates and conveys the character of the actor is a big risk. The characters of Maula Jat and Noori Nath are the identities of legendary artists like Sultan Rahi and Mustafa Qureshi and the filmgoers see these two faces in these two characters. So, to show new faces in these old characters was a big challenge for the director and actors of ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ which they are doing well.
Fawad Khan, who has been identified as a romantic hero throughout his career and has been well-received by his fans, portrays him in a high-pitched and combative role and Fawad adapting himself to this role is a challenge for both the director and the actor. was Then Fawad Khan was returning to the big screen of Pakistan after 15 years, so this return should have been strong.
Fawad Khan, instead of adapting himself to the role played by Sultan Rahi, ‘Mola Jat’, has largely successfully tried to fill it with his own color. He gained 20 kg weight for this film and also learned Punjabi. The way Fawad Khan was seen in the arena or open field in the film, no Pakistani film has seen such a fight before and it is Pakistani. It can be said to be his strong return to cinema after a long time.
Mustafa Qureshi, who played the role of Noori Nath in ‘Moola Jat’, was well appreciated for his slow yet sharp tone. Noori was an anti-hero character. That is, despite being a villain, his role in the story was no less than that of a hero. Therefore, Mustafa Qureshi adopted a low tone to avoid homogeneity of his character with Moolah Jat, who plays dialogues in a loud and challenging manner.
Another reason for this is said to be that he belonged to Sindh and he handled the Punjabi dialogues well with his accent. Therefore, Noori’s soft-spoken dialogues in response to any of Mola Jat’s strong dialogues did not allow her to be overwhelmed by the character of her opposite.
In this film, Hamza Ali Abbasi has also adopted a muted tone like Mustafa Qureshi, which was well-liked by the audience. Not only this, he presented several dialogues of the old ‘Mola Jat’ in a new style, in which ‘Navan Ayaan Ae Sohnia’ is worth mentioning.
‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ stars Hamza Ali Abbasi’s Noori, who spent most of his time in jail but did not let the fans get bored and when Jab Noori came on screen, the fans got to see something new.
When Mustafa Qureshi was asked about Noori’s role after the press show of the film, he praised Hamza Ali Abbasi and said, “Noori was dominant in the old Maula Jat too and Noori is dominant in this film as well.”
Along with this, it will not be wrong to say that just as the stories of both films are different, similarly the names of the lead characters of both are Mola Jat and Noori Nath, but they are different characters in their presentation.
‘Mukho’ and ‘Daro’
A film that mostly revolves around two men, Mahira Khan plays Mullah Jat’s beloved ‘Mukho’ and Humaima Malik plays Noori Nath’s sister ‘Daro’ very well.
Earlier, both the actresses had acted in the film ‘Bol’ in which Hamaima and Mahira played sisters. But in ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’, both were not seen in one frame.
This is Mahira Khan’s first Punjabi film in which she has played the role of a girl who is not afraid of anyone but is ready to cross all limits in the love of Maula. Mahira’s acting is no evident. It happened that they are unfamiliar with the Punjabi language.
On the other hand, the director has given a touch of glamor through Hamaima Malik’s role in the film. After 11 years, Hamaima, who is acting in a big film, is a villain but she has given the hero a tough time. She has become the sister of Noori Naat and Makha Naat in this film.
In the earlier film, the role of Makha was small and was played by actor Adeeb, but in ‘The Legend of Moolah Jat’, the role is played by Mirza Gohar Rasheed, who has been given more time.
He plays the role of a spoiled youth in the film who is jealous of his elder brother while not listening to his sister. ‘Makha’ strives to get his father’s attention, but even so, he is unable to replace Noorinat.
Singer Faris Shafi’s performance in the film is also commendable as a story in which Jatt and Nat are bloodthirsty for each other is not easy for any actor to do comedy. His character is not only always ready to recite poetry to everyone, but when trouble comes to Moolah, he saves him by risking his life.
Director Bilal Lashari has roped in veteran actors Neer Ijaz, Shafqat Cheema, and Ali Azmat among other notable actors for this film who have managed to keep the audience interested in the story.
Usually Pakistani, especially Punjabi films are shot in studios where the sets are built and torn down, but Bilal Lashari created a set for this film that was showing a complete village scene. The production design and visual effects of the film were no less than world-class.
In the arena where Mula Jat used to subdue his rivals or the mansions where the chieftains of the Jat and Nat clan lived, the giant sets of them added life to the story.
For the fight choreography in the film, a team of action directors from Hollywood was invited to Pakistan, who made them practice all the weapons, including guns.
How did background music make up for the lack of songs?
According to Sarwar Bhatti, the producer of Praani Moula Jat, he started the shooting of his film with the song of Madam Noorjahan and its opening sequence itself includes a song, but The Legend of Moula Jat is not only about ‘Moula Jat’ but also about Pakistan and It also differs from the usual trend of films made in India in that it does not include any songs.
There is neither a song in ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ nor a romantic scene in the film which breaks the story of the film. But the background score given by Sarmad Ghafoor in the film is so lively that it does not let the film lack this traditional element.
It is also important to mention the dance number performed by actress Saima Baloch near the climax. In this film, she played the role of a girl who is forcibly taken away by ‘Makha’ at the beginning of the film.
The most special thing about the movie is its dialogue. Be it Fawad Khan’s character Moula Jat or Hamza Ali Abbasi’s Noori Naat, everyone has had such dialogues that one can go to the cinema again and again to watch.
It is true that most of these dialogues are in Punjabi language and have been heard by people, but many dialogues have been changed in setting and narrated in such a way that even non-Punjabi speakers can easily understand them.
Similar to ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Gladiator’
As soon as ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ was released, many commentators said that there are few flaws in Moolah Jat, while some are calling it Pakistan’s ‘Game of Thrones’.
Keith Clarke, writing for the English newspaper ‘The Guardian’, said that “The Legend of Mulal Jutt is actually a combination of Gladiator and Game of Thrones.”
He said that watching ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ reminds him of the Hollywood movie ‘Gladiator’ and the famous TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ and this is also the weakest aspect of this movie.
Sarwar Bhatti, the producer of ‘Mola Jat’ released in the year 1979, has made it clear in his several interviews that the culture of the ‘Barbarian Kingdom’ is being presented more than the Punjabi culture in ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’.
He said that none of the characters in the film were dressed in Punjabi clothes, rather it was similar to the South Indian film ‘Baahubali’ and maybe that’s why people didn’t appreciate it the way the old film was appreciated.
Can ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ become the ‘flame’ of the Pakistani film industry?
In 1975, the film ‘Sholay’ was released in India, which seemed less Indian and more like an American film at that time. Not only the dialogues and songs of this film are still remembered by the people, but for this, director Ramesh Sappi called a fight instructor from Hollywood and gave Bollywood action scenes for the first time.
Due to the new style of ‘Shalay’, the audience did not like it in the beginning and gradually people started liking the film. ‘Sholay’ became so popular after the first month of its release that pundits started dividing Bollywood into two eras, an era starting before the film was made and an era starting after its release.
After the success of ‘Shalay’, a term ‘Curry Western’ appeared on the international stage, which included cowboy films made in countries that eat curry.
Questions have been raised on ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt’ like ‘Sholay’, similar to the western technique and style of presentation. With these questions, will the success of ‘The Legend of Moola Jatt’ benefit the Pakistani film industry? Will this help the country’s Urdu and Punjabi cinema industries? Will this film also start a new era with its success? Of course, it is yet to be decided. However, any film buff can definitely say that the cinemagoers will not be disappointed.