‘Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad’, a Lollywood film released this Eidul Azha has received a rating of 7.3/10 on IMDB. It falls in the genre of action, comedy and drama and has been directed by Nabeel Qureshi.
The film is about a loyal police officer and his son. The police officer instills good morals and values in his son. Using the symbolic figure of the Quaid to illustrate the difference between halaal and haram, he tells his son a story that is at the crux of the movie.
The story is about how the Quaid, the father of the nation is watching over us. The quintessence is honesty and hardwork.
The cast includes Fahad Mustafa (Gulab) and Gia (Mahira Khan) as leads. The minor roles are of Javed Sheikh (Ronaq Ali), Rana Kamran (Nayyer Ejaz) and Babar Jilani (Mehmood Aslam).
As the boy turns into Inspector Gulab, he does just the opposite of his father. When the father finds out that he has taken ‘rishwat’ or bribery, Gulab in a fit of fury justifies his actions in a flashback. He reminds his father, how he did not have money to treat his mother’s ailment or fulfill his desires.
His father is unable to take the insult and he says:
Mai nai jis system ko badalna chaha
(The system I tried to change)
Ussi nai meray betay ko badal daala
(The same system has changed my son)
Gulab questions where really is Quaid-e-Azam? If Quaid-e-Azam is on the currency notes, then he is closer to him than anybody else. The paradox is later resolved in the film.
In the meanwhile, the scene shifts to Gia. Gia is a young, beautiful girl with a pure heart. She works for the welfare of animals. Gulab accidentally comes across her in a scene that sends the audience into squeals of laughter. Gia is trying to rescue ‘sweetie’ from jumping off the roof. Who is sweetie? Is it Gia’s persona? I leave that for the audience to find out!
The attraction between Gia and Gulab is like that of opposite poles of a magnet. Both are passionate about each other. The commonality between them is that both are sensitive and generous.
But was Gulab always like this? Or did an incident in life change him? Find out for yourself. I will not ruin the suspense!
The slogan Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad is repeated throughout the film. It stands as a metaphor against politicians and corruption. Rana is representative of the corrupt politicians, who have eaten the money of the nation. In his speech which is not written by him (pun intended) he makes false promises-
Mai sirf awaam ka naukar hoon
(I’m the servant of my nation alone)
Na amreeka k nai hindustaan ka.
(Neither of America nor of India)
The scene reminds me of the Lollywood film ‘Verna’. In Verna too, Mahira Khan takes a stand against the rotten politicians. She battles against rape and vows vengeance on these animals. In both films, the fight against injustice is the primary theme. The issues addressed though are different.
The film also highlights the rampant corruption in the police. The whole system is fraudulent and to eliminate corruption it has to begin at the topmost level.
The scene where the star-crossed lovers Gia and Gulab stand by the sea and scream at the top of their lungs reminds one of the scenes from the Indian film ‘Jab We Met’ where Kareena tells Shahid Kapoor to try ‘paagal pan’ and thrusts him into a lake.
As Gulab understands the values his father stood for, the guilt of taking bribery, sticks to him like a leech and he finds peace only once he has returned the ‘rishwat’ to all those he had exploited for his self-interest.
In the final scenes, Gulab is able to free the lion Rana has taken into custody illegally and arrest him so that he cannot escape prison.
The theme song ‘Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad’ has beautiful and meaningful lyrics.
It encapsulates the gist of the film. It is the duty of the leaders to protect the land and its citizens from harm. The song elegantly captures the notion to leave the past behind and make a fresh start.
O rab kai bande ab tu sudhar ja
(Man of God, mend your ways)
Beet gaya jo maazi hai
(Forget about what has past)
Teri dharti ab naraaz nai hai
(It agrees with you)
Is dharti pai dai pehra tu
(guard this land)
Aisey rishwat khauri sai
Apni khudi kar lai azaad
(and free your respect)
On the whole, a great effort. Hats off to the cast and crew for delivering a remarkable performance. The writer should be appreciated for coming up with such a brilliant and creative concept. The way the absence of Quaid’s picture from the currency notes affects the people’s morals and values is a very different approach to criticizing corruption. Way to go Lollywood!