In celebration of Independence Day, Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) screened the movie “Jinnah” on Monday. However, the lack of spirit in the auditorium did not quite go with the celebratory theme of the event.
A visitor said,“Jinnah must be crying in his grave at the state of the country.”
Although screening a movie about the country’s founder was probably a good idea to familiarise the young generation with the events leading to partition, the bad print managed to put off a few people.
“I can barely see his face. I came because I thought it would be a good way to pass the hour and for my children to watch a movie about the founder, but now I’m feeling dizzy because of the bad print,” said Javaid, a visitor who had come with his wife and children. “I’m pretty sure they could have invested in a good print,” he added.
The movie directed by Jamil Dehalvi was released in 1998 with Christopher Lee in the lead role. The film follows the life of the father of the nation.
When Muhammad Ali Jinnah dies, he is taken to a heavenly anteroom where a decision is to be made concerning his fate, but since his file has gone missing he must narrate his story. He narrates key events in 1947, when India was on the verge of gaining independence from Britain and Jinnah advocated a separate nation where Muslims would be in the majority.
Gandhi suggests Jinnah be made prime minister of united India as a compromise, but Jinnah rejects his offer and Nehru is selected for the job. Jinnah’s nemesis is Lord Mountbatten, the British viceroy who opposed the idea of Pakistan.
As well as this historical turning point, Jinnah recalls his youth and formative relationships with his sister Fatima and his marriage to Ruttie, a Zoroastrian who converted to Islam before marriage.
Perhaps the highlight of the movie was a scene in which Jinnah asks the police to stop baton-charging peaceful protesters that elicited a response from some viewers which amplified into thunderous applause when the rest of the audience joined in.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.