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Review of Pakistan’s Greatest Film to Date, “The Legend of Maula Jatt”.

When it comes to action, Bilal Lashari is Pakistan's only true expert.


His beard isn’t sculpted into packs but rather built up like a giant’s; his eyes peek out from beneath a thicket of facial hair, and his lips seem to be submerged in some kind of desi ale. From afar, he is a monster, and up close, a man-child, waiting to be tamed with a soother. The rest of the world cowers in his shadow, but to the one he truly cares about, he is the sun, the sparkle in her eyes, and the most beautiful woman in the neighborhood, who is always there to heal his wounds. If you’ve ever fought evil, exacted revenge, slashed through hordes in a matter of seconds, crushed skulls with a single punch, or opted for your bare hands rather than a weapon, you know why those bruises are there.

The Legend of Maula Jatt (TLoMJ) has a scene that looks like it was lifted straight out of the Rocky from KGF action drama, but it actually has a lot more dedication to sense than its South Asian analogues. Some of the scenes and even the editing remind me more of Lashari’s love for anime, but thanks to TLoMJ’s strange way of getting older, it can now compete with Rajmoulie and Prashanth’s movies, at least with Desi audiences.

Even though Ahsan Rahim directed a few impressive action sequences in Teefa in Trouble, TLoMJ firmly establishes Lashari as Pakistan’s preeminent action director. It also shows that there are filmmakers like Lashari, who don’t just crank out average films every year but instead take their time to make something truly extraordinary (and without any unnecessary songs).

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