Nitin Shingal's MAAZII: Western UP in focus again
MAAZII literally mean past, and it is a term that had been popularized by Gulzar through his scores of poems and now a full length feature film with the same title MAAZII is going to hit the cinema halls shortly. MAAZII is a film that has been primarily shot in the Western part of UP and has been completed within a time span of one month, shooting started in end October and the film was wrapped up by end November 2012.
It was Vishal Bhardwaj through his OMKARA who had brought the world of Western UP with all its ruggedness and rustiness to the fore, and now MAAZII would be taking it one more step forward.
It could be the first film which would try to capture the enigmatic beauty of the queen of hills Mussoorie in the recent times, and the film has been shot extensively in and around Mussoorie, famous Dhanaulti forms a part of the background, and city of Dehradun along with the rustic part of Meerut forms the backdrop for the MAAZII to unfold. As the title suggests, the film is an attempt to grapple with the past, and it is a violent past that comes to haunt the characters. MAAZII has been extensively shot on the Sahastradhara road, Landour Bazaar and Cloud's end, iconic landmarks around Mussoorie.
MAAZII has been produced by Jaideep Chopra and it is directorial debut of Nitin Shingal who has worked on films like MUNNABHAI MBBS, PARINEETA and FANAA. The lead role is played by Sumit Nijhawan who was earlier seen in the films like CONTRACT, PHAS GAYE RE OBAMA, SARKAR RAAJ, JANNAT 2 etc., and the music has been scored by Agnel Roman and Faizan Hussain and lyrics by Swanand Kirkire. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was so much enthused by the musical score of MAAZII that he gave it top priority for the songs to be recorded, pushing his other assignments into the background.
Apart from many firsts that are associated with MAAZII, one benefit that would indirectly accrue once the film is released, is that it would give a sense of credence and grounding in the Meerut based film industry. Meerut is slowly but surely emerging as a centre from where quite a lot of films in the local dialect are being produced and they are emerging commercially successful as well. What was required for this industry was a push from mainstream cinematic fraternity and MAAZII could just do that. The USP of MAAZII also lies in the fact that the characters who are chosen to play lead role trace their origins in one way or the other to Western UP.
The decentralization of film making needs to happen as there is profusely abundant talent that looks for opportunities in Mumbai. If centres like Meerut develop with MAAZII, regional flavor of cinema could prosper and this is all cinema is all about. One only hopes MAAZII is able to provide the impetus.
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