Kashmir Actor In Bollywood’s New Romantic Flick

by Umar Khurshid

SRINAGAR: The trailer of the romantic drama Laila Majnu, starring Tripti Dimri, Mir Sarwar and Avinash Tiwary in pivotal roles, was released on August 7. The movie is slated for a formal release month later on September 7, 2018.

What is interesting in this film is that most of it was shot in Kashmir and it has a Kashmiri artist in a prominent role.

Laila Majnu poster, pic courtesy: Internet

The trailer was finally released after a number of rescheduling. It’s the first time that filmmaker Imtiaz Ali collaborated with producer Ekta Kapoor for a film. Laila Majnu is the rehashed version of the class love story of two lovers. The makers finally uploaded Laila Majnu trailer on Tuesday. Sharing the trailer on her Twitter account, Ekta Kapoor wrote: “He was mad. She was crazy. Togetherness was the eternity they lived for! Meet them in #LailaMajnuTrailer. Releasing 7th Sept’18. #PyaarMeinPagal”

This Sajid Ali-directorial will also mark the debut of Tripti Dimri and Avinash Tiwary in Bollywood. Mir Sarwar, a Kashmiri artist also plays one of the important roles in the movie.

Talking about his debut, director Sajid Ali, who is also the younger brother of Imtiaz Ali, was quoted by Times of India saying: “Honestly, I was under-confident about making a romantic film, but I thought I should attempt it. I knew I had his (Imtiaz) backing and even if I went wrong, he would be there to guide me. I was very nervous about making a film on a man-woman relationship; something I have no clue about, while he will excel in it.”

The teaser of Laila Majnu was revealed two months back. Its first poster was unveiled in June. Imtiaz Ali shared the first look on his Instagram and wrote: “Why do some stories live forever? Laila Majnu Teaser out… releases 24th August 2018.”

The film which was earlier scheduled to release on August 24 is now releasing on 7th September.

Earlier, at the time of teaser release, Imtiaz said: “Laila Majnu is an eternal story of everlasting love. It’s perhaps the most popular love story of all times. For the film, we wanted a fresh approach in all aspects, everything from cast to script.”

Imtiaz in a video is seen saying: “This movie has no stars. The lead actors are new and do not belong to any filmy family. You must watch this film as this movie has characters like you. Both Laila and Majnu are just like you. This story has less logic and more passion. Even the people who have made this film are themselves quite mad. So, if you are passionate, you will see yourself in this film.”

He also said that one of the difficult things about the movie was confirming the title of the film. “I always knew that Laila Majnu is the only title that this film could go by. We have known the legendary lovers for years and years before any one of our names were known,” the filmmaker revealed.

Ekta and Imtiaz have been meeting frequently to brainstorm about the best possible way to promote the love saga. According to the filmmakers, the film is actually a very faithful rendition of the famous Laila Majnu set just in the modern time and placed in Kashmir. The setting is so because Kashmir gives the exotic backdrop to the film, and the actors playing Laila and Majnu in this film are very new to the film world.

Mir Sarwar, one of the main protagonists, plays a character of Zahoor in the movie. Zahoor is related to the Majnu, and according to Mir is an important character.

The full movie was shot in Kashmir, in 2017, “because of that I got a chance to visit Kashmir two times”.  “I would like to say there is freshness in the movie and the major characters are from Kashmir,” Sarwar added.

The Laila Majnoon, as it is locally known, is one of the eternal love stories that are part of the folklore. Even the Radio Kashmir Srinagar would run a long series – on weekly basis – about the love story, a mix of prose and poetry, sung by Dastaan specialists like Ismal Mir.

The love story is basically a narrative poem composed in 1188 by the Persian poet Neẓami Gaznavi and is based on a semi-historical Arab story about the seventh century Bedouin poet Qays ibn al-Mulawwah and his lady love Layla bint Mahdi. It has been translated into Kashmir and many other oriental languages during the massive Persian influence on Kashmir culture for most of the Muslim era, for a period of almost 600 years.

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