I should confess that one of the posts that I had most fun writing for ATP – and one that I myself go back to often – was our original homage to the movie Maula Jatt.
The title I had used then was ‘Nawa aaya hai, soonia’ which, of course, is the hallmark line from the movie. At that time I had not been able to find a clip where this wonderful line is so wonderfully delivered by Mustafa Qureshi (Noori Natt in the movie). I have found that clip now and wanted to share it with you.
The clip that I had included in the earlier post was, I think, a very good exemplar of the ‘juGGat’ style of dialogue and ‘baRak’ style of delivering dialogue, but it is this current clip that demonstrates the art-form at its best. Note the entry of Nuri Natt (in that Clint Eastwood style), note the to and fro of exaggerated dialogue between Mustafa Qureshi and the jailor, note heavy weaving of metaphor in the dialogue. This scene, to me, represents the movie more than any other.
You do not need to know the intricacies of Punjabi to follow the dialogue. Indeed, I find it amusing as well as appropriate that the greatest Punjabi film dialogues were delivered by a Sindhi (Mustafa Qureshi).
On the importance of the movie, I had written in the earlier post:
I do believe ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? and I know I am in a minority here ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? that Maulla Jatt is not just a remarkable but a milestone Pakistani film. Most people think of it as an ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“actionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ film (and some would call it an over-action film), but for me it is a dialogue movie. Memorable for its dialogues and even more for how they were delivered by Sultan Rahi and Mustafa Qureshi… Let me go out on a real limb here and suggest that Maula Jutt is to Pakistani cinema was Godfather was to Hollywood and what Shoalay was to Bollywood. I know, I know. That is too much to gulp. I am exaggerating (on acting quality, for example); but only for effect! But play along and think of itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦. It is an action movie most memorable for its dialogue. It blurs the line between good guys and bad guys. It is thick with political and social commentary. And it leaves an imprint on everyday language that lives beyond the movie (ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll make them an offer they cannot refuseÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œkitnay aadmi th-ay?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œnawa aaya hai, soonia?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?).
For those unfamiliar with the movie’s political and cultural context, let me repeat again from the earlier post:
Released at the height of the Zia-ul-Haq regime, it was full of political innuendo. Die-hard fans will talk about how the message of the movie was that when faced with oppression we sometimes have to take things in our own hand (as Maulla does) but this is a painful process (hence MaullaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s constant desire not to have to use his dreaded ganDassa). At least, this is what the myth became.
Amongst a large segment of our educated elites there is a deeply ingrained (and cultivated) feeling that Maulla Jatt is the height of the uncouth, of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“paindoo.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ Unfortunately, I find that most who hold this view have never actually seen the movie. So, be it. If paindoo it is, then paindoo I am!
By the way, if you have not seen the movie and want to, nearly all of it can now be viewed on YouTube.