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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

REVIEW: Faris, Ali strongest, Mahira, Gohar weakest links in The Legend of Maula Jatt

Before anything, we cousins sat down and saw the original Maula Jatt, starring Sultan Rahi and Mustafa Quraishi (more about that in the end).

Trailers do change minds but its when dramas and movies make news that they catch real attention, and The Legend of Maula Jatt did make news everywhere.

The movie came out to be very surprising. But for me, it was for different reasons.

Firstly, Faris Shafi and Ali Azmat were by far the best actors of the movie. Maybe because they understood what they were saying, Punjabi. Their body language were translating rightly what was coming out of their mouths. They knew how meanings can be reinforced through body language in Punjabi accent.

That scene in which Maula was defeated in the Muat ka Kunua, the exchange of dialogues and emotions between Faris Shafi and Ali Azmat were just incredible.

Having said that, Mahira Khan and Gohar Rasheed were all over the place. They failed convert the aura of a Punjabi movie in their characters.

The entry of both characters, which were right in the beginning of the movie, gave a very plastic start to the movie. The way Gohar was seen jumping on and off a log while threatening villagers failed to instill the fear Bilal Lashari was trying to portray in the scene.

Mahira’s acting is also touching new levels of monotony. Same old 4 to 5 facial expressions of a bubbly but innocent girl. Shying away and then running back in, she still looked very timid for a Punjabi girl in love. And she had no idea of what she was saying during the entire movie.

It feels like she was fixed in the movie only to attract audience to cinemas. She really had no big role in the movie. In the original movie, the same character also had no big role either. But the way Bilal Lashari surgically extracted the streak of misogyny from the movie, Mahira’s character could have been given some more value.

However, where Gohar can be seen slowly catching up to the rhythm of a Punjabi movie bad guy towards the end, Mahira seems unchanged. Her dialogues kept going in one direction and her body language on the other.

Daro was so elegantly played by Humaima Malik. Her movement, her dialogue delivery, her interactions with other characters all was so up to the mark.

Fawad Khan did good in the movie. He keeps a very serious position throughout the movie, and where he doesn’t, he falls from grace a bit. He did carry Maula nicely, but Hamza Abbasi as Noori Natt was not a good choice. And this is not because of his acting, its because of something else which brings us to the most vivid missing of the movie, body types of a Punjabi movie, especially a movie like Maula Jatt.

The only actors that fitted the body type and persona of characters were Fawad Khan, Faris Shafi and Ali Azmat, excluding his wig. The rest look like college dramatic club students in a play. Llooked too young, too under weight and too agile body language. Hamza Abbasi as Noori Natt is its biggest example.

Hamza Abbasi as Noori Natt just didn’t do justice with Noori. His body type was so not Noori Natt. Although his aura was tried to be amplified by making him wear a chaadar throughout the movie, his beard, his long hair, his camera shots from a lower level, but nothing could replace Mustafa Quraishi’s thunder.

Here, readers should know that the villain of this movie was a bigger hit than the hero. All the famous dialogues you’ve heard while growing up all belong to the bad guy actually. Here Hamza Abbasi couldn’t make that impact with his gel-overdosed-beard.

Having said that, there’s no question that Hamza Abbasi performed to his fullest, but I think Shaan Shahid or Shamoon Abbasi would have been a better option as Noori Natt. Their body type suits Noori Natt.

Now lets talk about the original movie. To be honest the original movie was full of unwanted testosterone and sexism. Its true that even if we watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S today you’ll get a sexist streak. But the original Maula Jatt was the flag bearer of sexism. Where Maula Jatt vowed to forcefully marry Noori’s (villain’s) sister, Daro, with his fellow villager, and this is what the entire movie revolves around. This is where the movie is different thanks to Bilal Lashari.

In this movie there’s this scene in which Noori is seen crowning Daro as the head of his clan. This gave new value not only to the character, turning the entire movie around and alleviating women in society as a whole. That in my view was the best scene of the movie.

This movie as a whole was a gush of fresh air which was also nutritious, graphically and set wise speaking. The continuity was impeccable, it was a long movie, but time flies while watching it.

Two things is for sure. One, that Ammara Hikmmat is a brave woman for standing behind a Punjabi movie with her corporate force. Second, that Bilal Lashari knows how to create.

The Legend of Maula Jatt not for children: Lashari

CUE cinema Lahore: After looking for the movie online CUE Cinema fell under my radar. Suited me because had to drop our young daughter to her Naani so she doesn’t become a problem for us and others during the movie. It was surprising to see kids under one year at the cinema, crying during the movie.

I called at CUE cinema they told me to either buy the ticket from the cinema or I could download their app and buy tickets online. In Rs3000, my wife and I got a movie ticket and a burger, drink each (not bad), all registered on one QR code I got on the APP. The seats were for Rs850, which were nicely placed in the middle. But unfortunately, we couldnt get our food because their kitchen was closed for the 10pm show on a Tuesday. That, kind of defeated the purpose of an APP. But we got popcorns instead. Overall the cinema was a good experience.

Ali TM
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Ali TM
Ali TM
Ali. TM is the Editor in Chief of othernews.pk platforms. He is a Pakistani journalist, documentary producer and teaches journalism at various universities in Lahore. He is a silver medalist in MPhil Mass communication and has reported and edited for a number of English print media organizations in Pakistan.
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