In the heart of Pakistan’s cinematic landscape, a refreshing breeze is about to sweep through as the anticipation for a new Punjabi action-comedy, Mango Jatt, takes centre stage. The director of the upcoming venture, Abu Aleeha recently broke the news, while also announcing that the film will star one of the most celebrated stars of Pakistan, Faysal Quraishi.
Read on to discover more about the film in a conversation with Abu Aleeha, in conversation with Galaxy Lollywood.
Unveiling Mango Jatt
The Punjabi film promises to be the fusion of hilarious comedy and pulse-pounding sequences. A family film, specifically targeting children and teenagers, Mango Jatt will also be a social commentary on several prevailing issues.
The plot of the film revolves around a widow, who lives with her three children. After her husband’s demise in an accident, his business partner wants to marry the widow, murder her three children, and wants to take control of all the property. In order to protect her children, she decides to take help from an undercover police officer, Mango Jatt, who starts living with the family as a house help/bodyguard. The film will navigate as he finds a place in the hearts of the three children and shields them from the gangsters who are trying to kill them while trying to tend to their personal turmoil.
The film will also feature a love story. As revealed by Abu Aleeha, the protagonist, Mango Jatt falls for one of the child’s teachers in his school, paving the way for a cute, romantic love story.
According to the captain of the ship, Abu Aleeha, the film is crafted as a family entertainer. He said, “There is this culture of Punjabi films in Pakistan where we usually see emotional saga and revenge. After seeing Indian Punjabi films, I considered venturing into comedy genre in Pakistani Punjabi films, which not only targets people from Lahore or Punjab but all Punjabi-speaking population around the globe.”
“I believe that there is a big vacuum in the cinemas when it comes to Punjabi films. Films like Maula Jatt took 7 years to be completed and released in cinemas. A standard Punjabi film takes 2-3 to be produced and released in cinemas. Hence, I believed if I would bring my formula of working and producing films in a few months then I can capture a new audience.”
Abu Aleeha further explained that with this movie he aims to break the stereotypical perception associated with Jatts, who are portrayed to be scary. He wants to bring to the screen a new Jatt character that is loved by the audience and the children.
“I wanted the Jatt in my film to be like Mr. Bean. I wanted to create a cute character that they feel protected on-screen, and women can consider as a chocolatey hero.”
Faysal Quraishi brings the oomph element into the film
There is no doubt that Faysal Quraishi is one of the biggest and most experienced stars of the country. Seeing him part of the project has created an inevitable buzz around the film. Other than his notable performances in several drama serials including Meri Zaat, Zarra-e-Benishan and Bashar Momin, Faysal has also exhibited his craft in different films including Manto and Money Back Guarantee.
Abu Aleeha was all praises for his lead star, Faysal Quraishi, who he thinks will do absolute justice to the role.
“Faysal Quraishi has great comic timings, and he is the perfect chocolatey hero material to do the film.”
Recently, Faysal Quraishi revealed why he opted to do Mango Jatt. He said he was impressed to see how the script managed to tackle societal issues, especially those pertinent to children and teenagers while integrating humor. The distinctive fusion of social commentary and entertainment in the film convinced him to do the project.
Abu Aleeha’s Commitment to Punjabi Storytelling
Mango Jatt marks Abu Aleeha’s third foray into Punjabi cinema, solidifying his dedication to showcasing the rich cultural landscape of Punjab. With prior directorial successes like ‘Shot Cut’ and ‘Super Punjabi,’ Aleeha has proven his commitment to storytelling in the vibrant and diverse context of Punjab. This time, he aims to bring a family-centric narrative to the forefront, offering an entertaining experience for audiences of all ages.
He has made nine films as of now including Kataksha, Sheenogai, Tevar, Udham Patakh, Shotcut, and Javed Iqbal.
In another interesting revelation, Abu Aleeha said that in 2023 no Urdu film has breakeven in Pakistan. He talked about the success of his previous Punjabi film Super Punjabi.
“There is only one Pakistani film which has not only breakeven but generated a bit of profit as well and that was Super Punjabi, which was a mid-budget film. The film went on to be shown in cinemas in Punjab for six weeks and also did good business in Canada as well as the UK.”
The directorial maestro added that he wants to learn from his previous mistakes and wants to continue the streak of making successful Punjabi films. He believes that with an extravagant budget for Mango Jatt, he can do much more.
A diverse cast
One of the unique aspects of Mango Jatt lies in its casting choice, bridging the cultural gap between Punjab and Sindh. Director Abu Aleeha emphasizes the collaboration of experienced theatre actors from both regions, envisioning this film as a unifying force that transcends provincial boundaries.
The lead actress for the film is still under discussion but as revealed by Abu Aleeha, there are three leading actresses who are being considered for the role. The director also added that he wants an actress who can fluently speak Punjabi for the role.
Unlike some contemporary films, Mango Jatt stands out as a complete family film, appealing to a diverse audience from five to sixty years old. With a commitment to steer clear of morally offensive content, Aleeha envisions the movie as a wholesome experience that every Punjabi can enjoy with their loved ones, marking a significant shift in the genre’s landscape. As the film gears up for production in Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Bahawalpur, Islamabad, and Nithia Gali, the other lead cast of Mango Jatt is set to be officially unveiled soon. The movie is poised to hit cinemas on Eid ul Fitr in 2024, inviting audiences to immerse themselves in a fresh and family-friendly cinematic offering.