The Legend of Maula Jatt - 2.5 Hours of Sheer Brilliance

by: Shafiq Ul Hasan Siddiqui
  • 22 Oct - 28 Oct, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

The Preamble and the Need:

There are very few films that have the tendency to engage audiences’ interest. For Pakistani audiences, it is nothing less than a feat to keep moviegoers interested for three-plus years. The Legend of Maula Jatt successfully kept every movie-lover, locally and internationally, excited for its release. Bilal Lashari, director of The Legend of Maula Jatt, released the teaser of the movie on Dec 21, 2018, and since then fans of Fawad Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Mahira Khan, and others have been anxiously waiting for the film’s release. The Legend of Maula Jatt is based on the characters of 1979’s Pakistani Punjabi blockbuster Maula Jatt which featured Sultan Rahi (late) as Maula Jatt and Mustafa Qureshi as Noori Natt, the antagonist with the swag. Maula Jatt was directed by Younis Malik and written by Nasir Adeeb. The film got so popular that it changed the landscape of Pakistani cinema and Punjabi films became the most sought films by the masses. The team reunited in 1981 and released Jatt In London, with the same cast but this time it had two Natts i.e. Dara and Noorie (both played by Mustafa Qureshi). Almost 40 years later, a cinematic universe is again created to feature the most famous cult classic characters that ever came out of Pakistani cinema as Maula Jatt and Noorie Natt. Will the hype that the film has created be justified? Will the audience love the film? Will The Legend of Maula Jatt be the revival of Pakistani cinema? Let’s find out.

The Story:

Bitter hatred and animosity existed between the clans of Jatts and Natts. In the darkest hour of one night, Natts attack Jatts, and Sardar Jatt (Babar Ali) with his wife (Resham) are killed. Their son, Maula Jatt was saved and his custody is handed over to Naazi who keeps him before her son Mooda (Faris Shafi). Maula Jatt becomes the fierce prizefighter for Gogi (Ali Azmat). Makkho Jattni (Mahira Khan) cheers Maula in every fight of his and loves him unconditionally. The head of the Natt tribe (Shafqat Cheema) had two sons Maakha (Gohar Rasheed), Noorie (Hamza Ali Abbasi), and a daughter Daaro (Humaima Malik). Maakha is the plotting and cunning one of the two brothers and tried his best to get Noorie out of his way which leads to the throne of the Natt clan. Noorie, on the other hand, is the undefeated and monstrous warrior who aches to find his match but is disappointed every time. One day Maula Jatt gets to know about his past and he takes on the path to seek revenge. Maula and Noorie have a grand clash and what happens is all that The Legend of Maula Jatt offers to its viewers.

Performances That Stay After the Climax:

Fawad Khan as Maula Jatt impresses, the beefed up Khan flaunting his anger and looks like never before is a delight to watch. His fans will enjoy a totally different avatar of his and will accept him as the next Maula Jatt without the slightest doubt. There are a few scenes where he goes a little mellow but in most of the scenes, he carries the load of Maula Jatt with gusto. Hamza Ali Abbasi as Noorie Natt is a sheer pleasure to watch; he carries the swag, smoothness, sarcasm, fun, and monstrous appeal throughout without faltering a tad bit. Undeniably the most difficult character of the Maula Jatt series is Noorie Natt’s and if the audience have watched Mustafa Qureshi playing that character, they will love it even more when Abbasi will come onscreen enacting Nasir Adeeb’s lines like “Nawaan Aaya Ae Sohneya”. There are a few alterations in Noorie’s character in The Legend of Maula Jatt, he is depicted as a beast but his heart at the right place, he is considered ferocious because he wants to keep his tribe’s prestige high and he is also shown as a supporter of women empowerment. Hamza Ali Abbasi carries a difficult character with utmost ease and he owns the character of Noorie Natt beautifully.

Gohar Rasheed as Maakha Jatt is menacing; he plays with his voice and looks, and surprises in most of his scenes. The hunger for power, arrogance, and helplessness that Rasheed depicts as Maakha are worth the applause. Babar Ali remarkably sets the mood of the film from the very first scene and Resham is effective in that short-lived performance. Shafqat Cheema is apt as the head of the clan.

Direction and Cinematography:

Bilal Lashari deserves a standing ovation for directing The Legend of Maula Jatt. It was never an easy task to recreate a cult classic and he has set the bar very high with visual effects and cinematography. The visuals are picturesque and the frames are like any painting. Action choreography from the very first scene makes audiences go in awe. The arena scenes are stunning. The final clash between Fawad Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi is just three minutes long (roughly) but it is shot brilliantly. All the fight scenes and stunts are one of a kind for the Pakistani audience. The camera work is another highlight of the film.

Final Word:

The Legend of Maula Jatt is one of Pakistan’s most accomplished films in terms of script, character buildup, and performance that live up to the hype the film has already garnered. The film is released in Punjabi, and it can be easily understood by anyone who listens to Punjabi songs; the language is easy to understand and the rest of the help can be taken from the subtitles. The Legend of Maula Jatt gets a little slower, as 2 hours 33 minutes is quite a runtime in today’s time but it is enjoyable. •