Maula Jatt
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A Short History of Maula Jatt

 

It begins with the literary giant Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi who wrote an Urdu short story called “Gandaasa”. It was about a young man named “Maula” in rural Punjab whose father was killed by a rival family. “Maula”, then an aspiring Pehelwan is consumed by revenge and spends his days and nights waiting to kill every single member of the family that killed his father with his Gandaasa.

Years pass, and the people of his village begin calling him Maula Gandaasay Waala. There is no mention of any caste or noble family in the story, nor is there any crowd-pleasing dialogue that we associate with the character of Maula Jatt today, but the message is clear.

Revenge eats generations alive.

Sultan Rahi in Wehshi Jatt (1975)

In 1975, an up-and-coming screenwriter named Nasir Adeeb wrote a film called “Wehshi Jatt” based on Qasmi sahab’s short story. It starred Sultan Rahi and made him an icon. The film was a hit, so it was followed by a sequel in 1979 called “Maula Jatt”.

This was the film that made the character immortal. It featured indelible lines such as “Maulay Nu Maula Na Maaray te Maula Nahin Marda” (Unless God himself kills Maula, Maula will not perish), and “Nawa Aaya Hai Soneya?” (You’re new here beautiful?)

Maula Jatt introduced new characters like Noori Natt, played by the incredible Mustafa Qureshi, and Mukho Jatti and Daaro Nattni.

Maula Jatt throws away his Gandaasa at the end of the film
Maula Jatt throws away his Gandaasa at the end of the film

The film ends with a climactic battle between Maula and Noori, but not in death or triumph, but in loss. Maula realizes that his thirst for revenge has deprived so many mothers of their sons, so many wives of their husbands, and so many children of their fathers.

And so, the film’s message is clear.

Revenge eats generations alive.

The film’s mammoth success and following as a cult classic spawned hundreds of sequels and copycats. It birthed a new genre called “Gandasa Film”. It featured screaming men fighting each other for honor, glory, and revenge. However, with these films, the original message of the story was lost.

Sultan Rahi in “Jagga” (1985) one of the many copycats of Maula Jatt in theme if not in script
Sultan Rahi in “Jagga” (1985) one of the many copycats of Maula Jatt in theme if not in script

Revenge eats generations alive.

Today, a new Maula Jatt is gearing up to hit the screens. Directed by Bilal Lashari, and written by Nasir Adeeb, the film stars Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Humaima Malick, Nayyer Ejaz, Shafqat Cheema, and others.

Fawad Khan as Maula in “The Legend of Maula Jatt”
Fawad Khan as Maula in “The Legend of Maula Jatt”

The film looks completely different from the original. Yes, the characters are still the same, but the setting and the story, as it looks, is far removed.

The film looks incredible and will perhaps feature action choreography on par with international standards. However, it remains to be seen whether it will keep the original message of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi’s Gandaasa.

Revenge eats generations alive.

“The Legend of Maula Jatt” will be released on 13th of October, 2022. The official trailer is scheduled to release on 14th August, this Sunday.

Written by Yousuf Mehmood

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