Maula Jat in London (1981)
Cast: Sultan Rahi, Mustafa Qureshi, Aasia, Chakori, Afzal Ahmed, Seema
Director: Yunus Malik
Nutshell: Dastardly Jat and Nut shennanigans continue, but now London is the scene!
Maula Jat in London is just one of the numerous sequels to the historic Maula Jat which is testament to the originals hysterical popularity in a land where sequels are generally unknown. Jat in London carries weight as the “Official” sequel to Maula Jat as it shares the same cast as the original as well as the director and the plot continues from where the first Maula Jat ended: Daro Nutni (Chakori) has managed to settle the terrible feud between Maula Jat and Noorie Nut by marrying Moodo who is Maula’s soul brother. However now Maula face’s trial for his reign of terror during which thousands were butchered by his legendary Excalibur-like Gandaasa.
With the trial heading for an inconclusive end, the judge and jury go into a huddle as it becomes clear that they won’t have enough evidence to bury Maula. Even their key witness Noorie Nut who was Maula’s mightiest adversary, speaks in favour of the Jat claiming that he now realizes that the only thing that can topple the Maula is a Maula! The judges decide the best they can do to save the nation from total chaos and obliteration at the hands of a renewed Jat regime is to exile Maula Jat to a distant country. The plan runs into problems when no country in the international community is willing to accept as dangerous a guest a Maula Jat, even North Korea and Cuba refuse as does the Western block. The exasperated local government defies orders by shoving Maula Jat on a jet (the Jat-Jet!) bound for London as according to the judges London is such a country that knows how to deal with hardened criminals and thus the obvious place to deport him.
Upon arrival Maula is apprehended by Her Majesty’s curiously sun-tanned police, all of whom are fluent in Punjabi. He is taken by armed escort to the courts where he has to face the ruthless British law. Maula is reprieved when a mysterious wealthy Seth offers his bail and the Jat is free to walk the streets of London, but not before the British Government confiscate his gandaasa blade, placing it very strangely in some distant corner on a stool in Madame Tussauds sports section (near Cassius Clay)!! Drastic anti-gandaasa measures taken by the law to save London from the prospect of having to endure the terrible calamity of a mighty Jat da Kharaak!
Then in a highly charged and typically dramatic scene with countless impact shots, upside down, sideways, every which way…..we are shown that Maula recognizes his benefactor the wealthy Seth as none other than his long dead companion Roshan Jat! But it turns out that Seth (Afzal Ahmed) is not Roshan, but his Dad. After a tearful reunion Maula stuns Seth by enquiring about Dara Nut, Noori’s brother who lives in London. Seth is horrified that Maula be wanting to associate with the Nut clan, especially as Dara Nut is a well known gangster and murderer in London. Seth warns him about Dara and demands that he steer clear of the goon, not that Maula fears anyone on earth but his mother. Meanwhile Mukhoo (Aasia) Maula’s mung is shocked to view British newspaper clippings featuring front page pictures of Maula Jat surrounded by a bevy of British beauties. Mukhoo and the imperiously blimpish and loud Daani (Maula Jat’s famous Mother acted brilliantly by Seema) hop on the next plane to London to join Maula.
The two lovebirds now take to enjoying the great sights of London notably some semi-derelict street near Ladbroke Grove amidst startled and rather bemused local shoppers and horrified tourists! They visit a disco where Mukhoo proceeds to slap the customers forcing a change in the music so she can teach the gora’s a thing or two about Bhangra.
The bliss is shattered when Maula is confronted by a ravenous Dara Nut, enraged that Maula had dared to thrash (and kill) seven of his henchmen. Just as the dreadful Dara is about to lay into the Jat, Maula tells him that the old enmity is over and that Dara ought to go back home to see for himself.
Dara is utterly mortified to find his brother Noorie, once the proudest murderer and “evil doer” in the land, is now a one legged cripple who is singing the praises of their sworn enemy Maula Jat. Then when Dara finds his sister who had once been the most feared psychotic killer in the land transformed into a meek and servile housewife, cooking roti’s for sworn enemy Moodo, he snaps completely berating both Noorie and Daro before pulling his gun out and delivering the justice of a “ghairat” brother on a sister who had dared to tarnish the image of the Nut clan. In a scene of superb comic farce, Daro and Moodo each take turns to jump in the way of the bullets meant for each other……….touching if sublimely ridiculous. Dara returns to London to wipe out Maula Jat forever but Noorie has plans of his own.
The film manages to re-create and continue much of the same outrageously over-the-top style of the superlative original. The mighty confrontation scenes are the foundation of the movie around which the rest of the plot and action is built. The performances are also typically frenzied with Seema as Maula Jat’s mother turning in a truly stupendous, almost acrobatic performance. The climax of the film in which she hurtles through the streets of London like the incredible bulk searching out the mighty Gandaasa and then launching her mighty Maula Jat call (a la Tarzan’s call) is a joy to behold.
Sultan Rahi cackles with relish and plays Maula Jat as only he could. Mustafa Qureshi sparkles in the double role of the one legged Noorie and the heinous criminal Dara Nut. Aasia has several dance sequences and is looking jaded for the most part. She had been the cause of some serious delays during production and Yunus Malik and the producers were set to register a case against the actress for not fulfilling her obligations as she had gone into hiding after her embarrassing escapade having been discovered in a very uncompromising position in the Studios. Aasia’s self imposed exile caused the film to be delayed by months and may well have cost the producers a lot of money as other Maula Jat clone’s flooded the market before this film could be released. Nazli does her thing playing Dara’s evil moll.
Overall the film is in essence a loving ode to the original and commendable efforts are taken to recreate the charm and magic of the original – including the brief but startling gore effects, keeping in mind that Maula Jat wa Lollywood’s first ever outright gore film.
The movie celebrates all the glory of the original and the scriptwriters have to be congratulated for their success in integrating the Jat films into one (semi-)cohesive, chronological order. We even find out about the origins of Maula Jat and about his father Chaudhary Rehmat. The legend of the Maula’s gandaasa is emphasized as is the cry of help for the Maula by his people (the Tarzan-like cry) which resonates in every corner of the galaxy and to which Maula will always unfailingly respond to no matter what the circumstances. The fights are suitably spectacular but the dances sadly lack the vulgarity and crudeness of the pre-Zia.
What is amazing though is how hideous the film-makers have managed to make London look having shot most of their footage in some filthy back street in Southall with boarded up windows and blighted, low income housing as the backdrop!
The climax scene however will remain memorable not only for Seema’s demented antics but also for the fact that the editor has spliced the film so that Dara is very much in Islamabad in front of the presidency while Maula, the person he is battling is in Southall! All the incompetence just adding to the charm of the film which to its credit manages to incorporate much of the overall flavour of the original without perhaps being able to match the electric intensity that made Maula Jat such an unforgettable experience.