Laila Majnu charms Delhi University students with its freshness
Filmmaker Imtiaz Ali held a special screening of Laila Majnu, presented by him and marking the directorial debut of his brother Sajid Ali, for the drama society members of colleges under Delhi University.
It was a rare sight to see a cinema jam-packed with students — what made it special was that filmmaker Imtiaz Ali screened his new film Laila Majnu for them!
On Monday, several students of Delhi University theatre societies, including Ibtida, the theatre society of Hindu College (Imtiaz’s alma mater), were invited to a show ahead of the film’s September 7 release. This is perhaps one of the few times when a film has been shown to a regular audience ahead of its release.
After the show, students praised the fresh pairing in this modern adaptation of the classic love story of Laila Majnu, starring Avinash Tiwari and and Tripti Dimri.
Jaywardhan Lakheda from Shunya, the drama society of Ramjas College, said, “The actors’ performances were good.” Pranjal Asha, from Miranda House, felt “the film is very poetic”. She said, “A lot of dialogues were similar to Imtiaz’s [other] films, and keeping in mind it’s Sajid Ali’s (Imtiaz’s brother) directorial debut, it was nice.”
According to Satyamitran from Ibtida, “This is a story that has been used a lot, but [the makers] found a new angle to it. The fresh cast helped, because had it been some big-shot name, I might have expected something [else].”
On this unique screening, Imtiaz said, “The time that I spent in DU doing theatre was one of the most influential times. I wanted to showcase my work to [the students], because they’re at a time and age where they’ll not get influenced by other people, but they can influence me, and before the film released, I wanted to take their opinion.”
Since Wednesday, September 5, is celebrated in India as Teachers’ Day, Imtiaz said, “There are teachers who are called teachers, but there are bigger teachers who aren’t called that. This is an ode to the other type of teachers.”