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The ‘Legend of Maula Jatt’

Call it likes of ‘Gladiator’ or lack of basic Punjabi fundamentals?

The ‘Legend of Maula Jatt’ (LoMJ) has been viewed and praised as a huge achievement for the Pakistan film industry. The movie has crossed the 150 crores (1500 million) mark within no time that itself shows the public’s response.

Bilal Lashari has come up with a high-budget movie exceeding 50 crores (500 million) after a long wait of nine years after his previous movie ‘Waar’. He deserves all the accolades that how he covered hindrances on the way. Justification for every shot has answered the people questioning about the delay in the release.

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There have been divided views of movie viewers. The majority of the people have been calling it a great and a must-watch; even the fans have been comparing LoMJ with ‘Gladiator’, ‘Vikings ‘and likes. While on the other side, critics have been criticizing the Punjabi accent of the cast, the absence of serene beauty of fields and real Punjabi village cultures and of course the lack of music.

Some critics have also been of the view that had the LoMJ been filmed in Urdu, it would have been a much better response. Shooting the major part of the movie in Lahore Fort has left the absence of Punjabi village culture.

As the movie comprises two Punjabi clans “Jatt” and “Natt”, therefore lack of Punjabi accents of some of the cast members, dress and ornaments, and village life are the factors that could have transformed it into a much better thriller.

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Overall, the cast has majorly done justice to their characters but a better background of Maula, helping the common man, instead of fighting in a Gladiator-like style would have been a much better addition too. In the “Maula Jatt (old)” then Maula had become famous because of reflecting a common man and fighting for their rights.

In the same way, Noori has been shown as a feminist and such a character could have been represented differently; at least before he loses in the final fight. The characters of Maakho and Daaro, being females would have been wearing Punjabi ornaments to make it look like a proper Punjabi movie.

The first Maula, in a 1979 movie, had a Gandaasa but this Maula – LoMJ has a bladed weapon. Gandaasa was a tool for farming but a bladed weapon represents a fighter in battles. However, Fawad Khan as Maula Jatt, Hamza Ali Abbasi as Noori Natt, Humaima Malik as Daaro, Gohar Rasheed as Maakha, Faris Shafi as Mooda and others have tried their best to do justice with their characters.

Overall, Bilal Lashari along with the cast and entire crew of the LoMJ deserve a strong clap and pat on their back. The sound effects, visuals, cinematography, and choreography have made the movie a treat.

The LoMJ has not borrowed anything from the original but the characters only.

The characters of Faris Shafi and Nayyar Ejaz would have been much strong if they had been exchanged with each other’s roles in the movie. But might be the age bracket between both would have been deciding factor.

However, a comparison of the LoMJ with Gladiator and likes would also be unfair because Pakistani fans are not used to such movies and fight scenes earlier. The scale of action, the masculinity and simple themes of revenge, innocence and retribution on part of a male with a troubled childhood are in fact too uncanny to ignore.

Nasir Adeeb is a legend holding a world record for writing the maximum number of scripts. Lashari’s decision of going to Adeeb, writer of the original flick {Maula Jatt – 1979) was really smart. The movie has many clap-worthy dialogues but Maula and Noori were able to get the best of them.

The movie has been produced by Ammara Hikmat and Dr. Asad Jamil Khan under the production banner of Lashari Films and Encyclomedia. The Maula Jatt remake was announced in December 2013. Principal photography began in January 2017 and concluded in June 2019. The film was initially scheduled for cinema release on multiple dates in 2019–2020 but kept getting delayed due to copyright-related issues and COVID-19.



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