Junoon sae or ishq sae! Jinnah to be re-released in Pakistan

Published: June 1, 2015
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Christopher Lee plays the role of Jinnah in the film and considers it his most iconic performance to date. PHOTO:  PUBLICITY

Christopher Lee plays the role of Jinnah in the film and considers it his most iconic performance to date. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

KARACHI: Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah would have been a proud man if he was alive today.  Not because of any respite in the ongoing socio political crises but because his only feature length biopic is all set re-release in Pakistan. After the producers of Jinnah declared bankruptcy and the film ended up in the hands of a liquidator, the director of the film, Jamil Dehlavi, bought the rights to its international release a few years ago.  Now Dehlavi is all set to re-release the Christopher Lee-starrer in theaters across the country.

“I think Jinnah’s message deserves to be seen by the younger generation that wasn’t around when the film was initially released,” Dehlavi told The Express Tribune.  The film was originally released in Pakistan and the UK in 1998 and has now been digitised to suit the requirements of multiplexes. There were only 24, 35mm prints of the film available, which were lying in the then Nishat Cinema and were destroyed when the cinema was torched during protests on Ishqe-Rasool day. “All the prints were destroyed in the fire and we had to start everything anew. But, fortunately, I had the film in a format that may be obsolete these days but gave us room to start from somewhere.  Adjusting the sound to digital requirements was a big challenge though,” said Dehlavi.

The idea of releasing Jinnah struck Dehlavi when the film was screened in front of more than 4,500 children from underprivileged backgrounds at popular venues, such as Capri, Prince, Atrium and City cinema in the Federal B area. “Our purpose is to raise awareness about the struggle for the creation of Pakistan and for the younger generation to participate in a discussion about the future of Pakistan,” stated an invite for the film’s re-launch at Nueplex cinemas; an event which will serve like a precursor for the nationwide release. With Ramazan on its way and the producers starting the pre-release hype, it seems that the film may capitalise on the national fervor by releasing on August 14.

“We don’t have a particular date or time-frame in mind. All I can assure is that I own the film now and it will be released in cinemas across the country very soon,” said Dehlavi.

Apart from Lee, Jinnah’s cast includes Shashi Kapoor, James Fox, Maria Aitken, FRichard Lintern , Shireen Shah , Indira Verman, Shakeel and Talat Hussain.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd,  2015.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • faraz
    Jun 1, 2015 - 10:56PM

    Get the release date right. The film was released in Aug 1999. Not 1998.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2015 - 10:01AM

    What a sorry opening sentence MA J would have been proud that his film is being re-released?? ET seriously?Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2015 - 10:11AM

    PLEASE DON’T!!! IT WILL BE A BRAZEN HUMILIATION!!! The Quaid e Azam has been humiliated enough by the politicians, mullahs, and the majority of citizens. Just look at the condition of the state??? Salams Recommend

  • Asad S
    Jun 2, 2015 - 10:53AM

    @the Skunk you need to get off the internetRecommend

  • Asad S
    Jun 2, 2015 - 10:54AM

    What a coincidence. I was just listening to Christopher Lee’s old interview yesterday where he said that his favorite role was playing Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.Recommend

  • Arslan
    Jun 2, 2015 - 3:12PM

    This was a very ill made film. Christopher Lee and Richard Lintern as the young Jinnah acted well but the script was pathetic and all over the place. The documentary Jinnah-the making of Pakistan is much better and gives an accurate and historical account of the Quaid. Rerealising a bad movie in good quality will do no good.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2015 - 3:22PM

    Advance booking dates Pleaseeeeee…!!!???!?!?!?Recommend

  • Hidayatullah
    Jun 2, 2015 - 5:00PM

    At last a good news – i remember my meeting with Mr. Dahlvi, Director of the film, about one year ago on behalf of Culture Department, Govt of Sindh for screening of this movie on Pakistan Day. But, as he reported all prints were burnt. I found Mr Dahlvi, a down to earth, simple and very nice person. I still remember a coffee with him at Dolmen Mall Karachi.Recommend

  • Sal
    Jun 2, 2015 - 7:24PM

    The quaid’s message is now confusing.

    One end he said he wants an islamic nation and on the other hand, he said he wanted a nation for all religions where we are all free to go and practice whatever faith we wants. Though we love him but his legacy does not help us to get out of our crises.

    If he had a secular pakistan in mind, what was the point of dividing India. The muslims of Indis prospered from 47 onwards due to secular india. Look at where Pakistan ended up in the same time frame.Recommend

  • ISROFan
    Jun 3, 2015 - 1:21AM

    I thank Jinnah for making Pakistan everyday.Recommend

  • Waheed Ahmed
    Jun 3, 2015 - 3:25AM

    In its days the movie was as controversial as the CPEC today. Rumours of vulgar scenes, ignorant comments like dracula will be playing Jinnah, protests by the protectors of our morals prevented the movie from being appreciated at all. Recommend

  • Jun 3, 2015 - 9:53AM

    @Asad S: Oh really??? Are you not fed up with the state of affairs or are you a part of it??? Seems to me you are unaware of the obvious. Have a nice day counting starts. SalamsRecommend

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