Professor Stanley Wolpert's opening remarks in the movie highlight Muhammad Ali Jinnah's remarkable historical effect. It transports us back to 1947 when Jinnah attended the Cromwell Conference with Lord Mountbatten while being escorted by a guide. There, Jinnah called for a separate nation for Indian Muslims as hostilities between Muslims and Hindus worsened after World War II.
The storyline incorporates flashbacks to Jinnah's private life, notably his marriage to Rattanbai Petit, a Parsi woman, and the resulting tensions brought on by age and religious differences. Jinnah is greatly affected by Rattanbai's passing, which drives him to struggle for Pakistan. At the Muslim League meeting in 1940, Jinnah gave thousands of Muslims assurances about the creation of Pakistan. When the tour guide asks Jinnah about his family, Jinnah discusses his daughter, who went against his wishes and married a Parsi guy.
Muslim zealots fought and debated against equal rights for women and non-Muslims in Pakistan during a Muslim League summit in 1947. Jinnah responds that Islam needs visionaries to develop the nation, not zealots. Despite Jinnah's efforts, India is divided, and Muslims are massacred as they migrate as a result of violence from Hindus and Sikhs. Jinnah appointed Liaquat Ali Khan as the country's first prime minister and became Pakistan's first governor-general. Dina, Jinnah's daughter, says goodbye as she vows to start a new life in Bombay with her husband and child.
Pakistan emerges as a new nation and a haven for Muslims after gaining independence. Quaid-e-Azam, or the Great Leader, is bestowed upon Jinnah, who anxiously anticipates the arrival of the first train transporting Muslim refugees from India. But when it arrives, he finds that everyone on board?aside from a baby?has been savagely murdered. When Lady Edwina Mountbatten and Fatimah Jinnah saw the terrible conditions of the refugees, Lady Mountbatten understood the importance of freedom.
Lord Mountbatten betrays Jinnah in the meantime, and the Hindu Maharaja of Kashmir continues to waver between joining India or Pakistan. The Maharaja joins India after the populace revolts and Pakistani irregulars support them, which causes Indian soldiers to be airlifted. Jinnah objects and commands Pakistani troops to enter Kashmir, starting a battle that continues today in the form of Indo-Pak tensions over the territory of Kashmir.
The movie ends with a made-up sequence that takes place in a heavenly court and has Jinnah debating with Lord Mountbatten about treachery. Finally, Jinnah and his celestial judge return to the period of the Muslim immigrants. The refugees respond to Jinnah's expression of sadness for their situation during the partition of Punjab by chanting "Pakistan Zindabad" (Long Live Pakistan), which marks the conclusion of the movie.
Without a doubt, the developers of "Jinnah" expected a global commercial response comparable to that of "Gandhi." However, the historical content of the movie mostly appeals to an educated and wealthy audience. The partition of India is perceived as an arcane topic in America and Europe, where there are few opportunities for theatre productions, and the title character's reverent portrayal may be confusing.
While the movie adheres to the traditional biographical format in many aspects, it also uses a unique plot that lightens the mood, promotes discussion, and humanizes the oversized characters and circumstances. Jinnah, who is portrayed by Christopher Lee, is taken to the hospital as the story opens. He is believed to be dangerously ill, dies, and then briefly awakens in a celestial house where his everlasting soul's destiny will be chosen. Unfortunately, his file has disappeared, and the computers are broken.
Sashi Kapoor plays Jinnah's advisor, who converses with him about his life and politics while progressively exposing important details. The focus of the narrative then returns to 1947, as Britain is ready to award India its freedom. Viceroy Mountbatten, represented by James Fox, tries to persuade Gandhi (Sam Dastor) and Nehru (Robert Ashby) to persuade Jinnah to refrain from dividing the soon-to-be-former province, but Jinnah pleads for a separate nation for the Muslim minority. Gandhi suggests appointing Jinnah as prime minister, which Nehru finds objectionable.
When Jinnah vehemently rejects the idea, it is clear that Gandhi had a premonition that such a compromise wouldn't work. The drama goes back to 1916, when the younger Jinnah, played by Richard Lintern, was a rising star in the All India Congress Party, and further explores the origins of this resolve. His marriage to a young Parsee woman, played by Indira Varma, and his continuing relationship with his tenacious sister Fatima, played by Shireen Shah, who is likewise a strong-willed individual, are also covered in the flashback.
The movie introduces elements of magic realism through a fantastical investigation to break free from the limitations of a dry and simplistic biopic, providing a novel viewpoint while removing any lingering questions regarding the heroes and antagonists of this period in history.
Unexpectedly cast in the lead role is Christopher Lee, who turns in one of his strongest on-screen performances. He continually gives Jinnah credibility, giving the figure grace, grit, and humor, making him approachable to those who aren't familiar with his significance during this turbulent time. In a way that is both reasonable and unsettling, James Fox's portrayal of Jinnah's adversary Montbatten shows him to be egotistical and ignorant. History is also given life by the supporting characters, especially Shah, Ashby, and Maria Aitken as Lady Mountbatten. The guide is a lovely and cunning invention played by Kapoor, who asks the things the audience is most interested in hearing.
Using only a minimal budget, director and co-writer Jamil Dehlavi expertly weaves an epic story. When attempting to represent widespread slaughter or migration, the cost restrictions only quickly become apparent because these sequences struggle to adequately convey the length of time. Despite this, Nic Knowland, the film's cinematographer, created a visually stunning movie that is further enhanced by a stirring score and likable characters.