Jinnah (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Jinnah (1998)





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Those familiar with Pakistan's history will be most likely to appreciate this elaborate tribute to Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the man who created the Muslim nation in the wake of Great Britain's relinquishment of control over India. The story begins on a fantastical note, as an ailing Jinnah (Christopher Lee) expires and then finds himself in a heavenly place awaiting final judgment on his deeds. That could take some time, for the celestial bureaucrats in charge have misplaced Jinnah's file and the whole heavenly computer network is down. With nothing but time on his hands, Jinnah answers the many questions of his guide (Shashi Kapoor). His responses comprise the main story. Jinnah's tale begins in 1947 as England prepares to grant India its freedom. Muslims have always been a minority in the diverse country and Jinnah wants to create a country especially for them. The Muslim leader's nemesis, Viceroy Mountbatten (James Fox) finds Jinnah's proposal disturbing and so attempts to convince Ghandi (Sam Dastor) and Nehru (Robert Ashby) to dissuade Jinnah from starting more trouble, but it is to no avail. The story then jumps backward to 1916 when Jinnah (played as a young man by Richard Lintern) served as a prominent member of the India Congress Party. It was during this time that he married a beautiful Parsee (Indira Varma). As the guide continues his questions, a deeper understanding of Jinnah and the bloody events surrounding the genesis of Pakistan emerges. Jinnah played at the 1998 Montreal Festival of New Cinema & New Media. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:


Christopher Lee
as Mohammed Ali Jinnah
James Fox
as Lord Richard Mountba...
Maria Aitken
as Edwina Mountbatten
Shashi Kapoor
as The Guide
Richard Lintern
as Young Jinnah
Shireen Shah
as Fatima Jinnah
Robert Ashby
as Jawaharlal Henru
Indira Varma
as Ruttie Jinnah
Sam Dastor
as Mahatma Gandhi
as Liaquat Ali Khan
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Audience Reviews for Jinnah

History is filled with many important figures, and even more important events than we keep track off. When it comes to adapting to any important person or event onto film; we know the figures that changed the world like Martin Luther King, Adolf Hitler, Abraham Lincoln, Cesar Chavez, and so forth. What often is over looked in these history adaptations is not the achievement of the individuals, but what these individuals had to endure to accomplish their goal.

Jinnah tells the story of the founder Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, and the conflicts he faced seeing his vision come true. Jinnah is a filmed not made for entertainment value, but instead informs those of us (like myself) who are not very familiar with this event. The film might feel like a history lesson in movie form for some, but it's far more interesting than reading out of a textbook. Jinnah is not a simple figure one can simply identified as being a good as with many other historical adaptations. Jinnah is a complex man; one who would sacrifice the well being of his own health for his people and a struggling family man torn apart by politics. As for the film depictions of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, I could only say the reports I've read tend to have a more emotional take on the man. Therefore, I can't account for the film is historical accuracy. It's a complex films that covers allot of events and political matters that might limits its audiences. It moves at a fast pace from one major events to another it's difficult to properly to keep track of what's going on screen. The acting from it's cast is great, especially Christopher Lee giving one of his best performances in his career. It contains beautiful scenery and stellar music for rightfully fitted for the film. It's big on it scope covering allot of events, but its excited perfectly so it's message is never lost.

Jinnah did generate controversy for the casting of Christoper Lee as Mohammed Ali Jinnah due to Lee role as Dracula. Despite casting controversy, his performance was well received though the film failed to gain a proper theatrical release. The film does portray Jinnah as a liberal and progressive leader with a largely secular vision of Pakistan. But most of those who have seen it did not come out talking about the role of religion in the Pakistani State, but simply saying how patriotic the film made them feel. It's not a film you watch for entertainment, but you're curious about outside of your own nation or curious how Pakistan came to be by all means check Jinnah out.

Caesar Mendez

Super Reviewer

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