Thursday Sep 29 2022

The Legend of Hamza Ali Abbasi: The superstar returns with ‘Maula Jatt’

file footage

Hamza Ali Abbasi, a superstar years into self-inflicted exile from showbiz, is now ready to return with nothing short of a magnum opus, The Legend of Maula Jatt.

The 38-year-old actor, who would rather dedicate his time to learning and bettering himself than churning out inevitable hits, took a bow from the big screen in 2018 and now, after a long hiatus, is eyeing a triumphant return with Bilal Lashari’s retelling of a classic tale.

While The Legend of Maula Jatt has itself gained the reputation as somewhat of a legend in the making for about a decade now, Hamza has also made a name for himself as an enigma during his time away from the screen.

Hamza Ali Abbasi opens up about his return to the big screen after four years in The Legend of Maula Jatt
Hamza Ali Abbasi opens up about his return to the big screen after four years in 'The Legend of Maula Jatt'

However, he is now ready to get candid about his hiatus, and his much-awaited return to the silver screen.

In a conversation with Geo TV, Hamza opened up about his thoughts about Maula Jatt, what the public should expect from him, and his understanding of the fusion of his craft and the religion he holds so close to his heart.

“I took a long break to focus on educating myself,” Hamza shared, adding that even now, as the world awaits the release of the biggest Pakistani production starring him, he is “focusing on doing less but quality work.”

Hamza then dives into detailing his reasoning behind the ‘break’ from acting, which he believes he already explained in a 18-minute-long video he shared some four-and-a-half years ago announcing the said break.

“I never announced my exit from the industry, in fact, I made a whole video that majority of the people didn’t watch, and just read the headlines that I’ve left acting,” he said.

He continued: “In that video… I specifically said that I’ve reached that point in life where I have 100% belief in the whole system of Allah, the Holy Prophet (PBUH), holy books, Day of Judgement, the concept of heaven and hell…”

The Legend of Hamza Ali Abbasi: The superstar returns with ‘Maula Jatt’

Hamza further explained: “I realised that all of it is real, and so, I will be taking a long break to watch the whole film of the trailer I’ve seen about religion. I want to reach to the depths of my questions, and learn more about my own self.”

The Alif actor also categorically stated: “The version of religion that I align myself with, the religion of Allah, does not categorize entertainment in itself, be it music or acting, as haram (prohibited).”

So, where does The Legend of Maula Jatt lie within Hamza’s version of his craft? By his own admission, it holds quite the top spot because he has huge expectations with the project which he proudly describes as the ‘biggest production in Pakistan’.

“I am very hopeful about Maula Jatt because it’s one of the biggest productions of Pakistan, budget and scale wise. Its success is gonna set a milestone for other films,” said Hamza.

“I am really hopeful not just because it’s my own project, but it will be a huge step forward for the media industry overall. If Maula Jatt is successful, it will also encourage others to make projects on such a big scale and budget.”

Hamza is also confident that the story, a remake of the 1979 cult classic Punjabi flick of the same name by Younis Malik, is eternally relevant, and so will not have a hard time resonating with people more than four decades after the original.

“Good versus evil, the clash between good and bad and principal versus evil, like in Maula Jatt, has existed in every society since the dawn of time, it’s an integral part of humanity,” Hamza believes.

The Legend of Hamza Ali Abbasi: The superstar returns with ‘Maula Jatt’

According to the Parwaaz Hai Junoon actor, the Maula Jatt team has worked hard to not limit the film by a time/period constraint.

“As far as the script is concerned, the way we’ve shown it is very time neutral. It’s not shot in this age or even in prehistoric times, you can interpret it in whatever time and age… because, the story itself is relevant,” Hamza said.

As the release of The Legend of Maula Jatt inches closer each day; the film is slated to hit theatres on October 13, 2022, Hamza has also revealed that fans can expect to see him in something new as early as next year.

“I might do something new by next year. Something that is within the limits defined by Allah,” Hamza concluded on a high note.