Shahzada Ali, a Hindi emotional drama by twin brothers Akbar and Azam Quadri is now streaming on MXPlayer. The 2016 movie was shot in Chhatarpur, Delhi. Izhaar Khan plays Ali, Zeishan Quadri (Gangs of Wasseypur fame) as his father and Nidhi Bisht (The Viral Fever) as mother.
It is a tale of a boy who wants to explore life, but is not allowed to play outdoors because of his physical ailment. The Quadri brothers, both alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, founded IPTA Jamia and Antraal theatre. Previously, they directed a music album for rock band Euphoria; worked on Imtiaz Ali’s movie Rockstar; and have written over 100 stories for the radio show Yaadon Ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra. Excerpts from an interview:
What was the motivation behind the script?
Azam: We met the character of this story long ago in AIIMS, when we went there for a check-up of a relative. There we saw a child standing in line. His mother, while talking to us, confided about her child suffering from atrial septal defect (hole in the heart). After a little research, we found that the number of children is very high in India.
How is the movie relevant today?
Akbar: Understanding the psychology of children is still lacking in today’s society. Until Taare Zameen Par, how many of us knew about dyslexia? We may tell a false story to a child, but they take it to be
the truth. Correct parenting makes it relevant in today’s context.
Why did you shoot at Delhi?
Akbar: The story was based in Delhi, and the film was being made with the help of friends who were all here. We stayed in Delhi for 10 years, made friends and developed deep friendship. The specialty of Delhi is its food and space. There are so many places and historical monuments, where one can spend time.
Why was the film not released for the public earlier?
Azam: There were some technical issues and due to lack of funds, we could not release it on such a platform earlier.
What parts of the movie-making process do you like the most?
Akbar: It is important that a director takes care of everything, from writing to editing. But we had a lot of fun during the shoot. The energy is altogether different. During Ali’s shooting, we used to sleep at 3:00am,
and the call time used to be at 5:00am or 7:00am.
What are the genres you work on?
Azam: You will get all kinds of stories if you go through our story book, Parakhnali and for Yaadon ka Idiot Box with Nilesh Mishra. Nevertheless, we have more grip over telling relationships, drama, romance, period and historical stories.
Of you two, who loves to write and who directs? Does it lead to conflicts?
Azam: I am more into writing and Akbar is into direction. Of course, there are conflicts. Either Akbar has to convince me, or vice versa.
What did you work on during the lockdown?
Akbar: We developed a satirical talk show, Talk Hee Talk, running on YouTube channel, Searchlight. We have also written a collection of stories that will be published soon.
Azam: We are working on the story of a war film for Roy Kapoor Films. Also, the script of a musical film is ready. We are also working on a web series.