Bilal Lashari Directorial The Legend Of Maula Jatt Excels At Almost Every Front

Bilal Lashari Directorial The Legend Of Maula Jatt Excels At Almost Every Front
The Legend of Maula Jatt is roaring at cinema ticket windows in a fashion similar to how the film's committed team persevered to ensure the final product overcame every challenge: pre and post release.

Any belated attempt to bring a splendidly executed iteration (not remake) of Yunus Malik's Maula Jutt (1979) into dispute must stand rested with how securing tickets on a weekday viewing proves a task in itself. With The Legend of Maula Jatt director Bilal Lashari masterly delivers a motion picture sumptuous, scintillating and sensual in equal parts.

A beefed up Fawad Khan emotes little and excels in action sequences to ultimately find a formidable opponent in antihero Hamza Ali Abbasi. Abbasi, who rules every frame, delivers a lesson in screen presence such that the audience spontaneously burst into cheers and applause as he delivered his first line.

Faris Shafi is likable. Gohar Rasheed should dread typecast.

Humaima Malick towers above her peers in a role that sees her fuse sex with sinister. Mahira Khan is arguably Pakistan's bravest star. From delivering a career-best in Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay (2022) to 'dancing around trees' in Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad, Mahira concludes the year with a restrained Mukkho. She succeeds in bringing balance crucial to any potboiler with her extended cameo.

Veteran Nasir Adeeb's dialogue slips towards the end but is deftly remedied by Lashari's compact screenplay. The latter's industry can be gauged by how the film comes together from Saima Baloch's dance of seduction to her final act juxtaposed against a high-octane climax.

As The Legend of Maula Jatt enjoys a record-breaking run at the global box office it may just resuscitate a floundering industry. Reviving it, as the global response to the film shows, needs active footfalls across the world in the absence of cross-border India-Pakistan exchange.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Saad Saud is audience engagement editor at The Friday Times -- Naya Daur.