So, the trailer of the much awaited film ‘The Legend of Maula Jatt has released. It’s a remake of the 1979 Sultan Rahi starrer blockbuster movie Maula Jatt which focuses on the rivalry between two iconic characters Maula and Noori Natt but, the makers have brought a little twist to the saga which is the topic of debate these days as people are comparing it to Hollywood movies and calling it a rip-off of Gladiator and Game of Thrones which is a huge compliment for a Pakistani movie cause it’s the first of its kind and hopefully it will raise the bar for other filmmakers too. Now the genre of mixed cultures or “Uniculturism” in movies, games or comics is nothing new to the world but, such experiments involve a lot of research. Lack of research can result in to a major failure of a film and instead of creating an extravagant and mega budgeted blockbuster it ends up into a senseless and bogus film like the recently released The thugs of Hindustan.
The legend of Maula Jatt is another example of such an attempt. From what we’ve seen in the trailer the new version of the film dates back somewhere in between the 8th to 11th century and by the look of it, the details resemble to that of the Vikings or the Scandinavian culture which also belongs to the same timeline. Now as the film showcases the mixture of Scandinavian/Nordic/Punjabi culture, what is important to notice is that during the 8th century, the Vikings were invading Europe not Asia so, technically the culture of the Vikings or Nordic tribes can’t possibly hit Punjab since it didn’t exist although, a little bit of Punjabi culture existed in Harrapa and other areas but since Punjab hadn’t established, the culture was different from what it looked like after 1970’s. So, technically the Dhoti lacha culture as portrayed in the movie never existed back than and it was more close to Harrapan culture and later Moghul culture which is why the resemblance with the Vikings technically doesn’t make sense unless the plot of the movie i.e set in Mong, Punjab, where Alexander defeated Porus at the battle of Hydespas and an influence of the Roman culture could possibly have been there yet, the movie looks more inspired by the Scandinavian culture than the Greeks and Romans except for the dark visuals seen in the trailer looking very close to those in 300, the movie.
The Vikings battle arena, the honk, the axes the artifacts etc. don’t seem to make much sense but if they could have digged a it deeper in to the rich Punjabi culture they would have found objects and weapons that could be symbolic and iconic both in terms of art and culture and they could have created cinematic history putting the ancient Punjabi culture in forefront.
Having said that, one shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, we have to wait and watch the whole movie to understand it better. Apart from the average SFX, beards, wigs, dreadlocks, and Mahira Khan yet again, the movie looks promising with great cinematography, and hopefully good performances.
It’s definitely a thumbs up for Bilal Lashari and the team for their plausible efforts for experimenting and putting up something unique on celluloid that has never been done before In Pakistani cinema.