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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



It’s Almost Pyaar with Anurag Kashyap’s DJ Mohabbat team and its trailer

It’s Almost Pyaar with Anurag Kashyap’s DJ Mohabbat team and its trailer

Anurag Kashyap’s much awaited movie Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat, his ode to modern love, had its trailer launch in Mumbai, at the PVR multiplex, Juhu, Mumbai, yesterday. The event was attended by the female lead, Alaya F., debutant Karan Mehta and Anurag himself, along with the music director Amit Trivedi, producers Ranjan Singh and Kabir Ahuja and ZEE Studios’ Shariq Patel

After everybody had a peepshow at the film, courtesy the trailer, Anurag addressed the audience and confessed that the differing sensibilities between him and his teenaged daughter, which lead to massive stand-off once, triggered the idea of making a film on this subject. "It was my daughter who kept making me realise how my generation of people think that we know everything, and it is our world, whereas in reality, they are the natives and we are the immigrants. This was the core thought I have tried to explore in Almost Pyaar, though my Gen Z protagonists.”

Speaking about his association with music director Amit Trivedi, Kashyap said, "Amit is a great supporter of what I do and our bond is very organic and free flowing. We have done so many films together." For his part, Amit revealed that Anurag tells him about the theme of the film and then disappears after that, sometimes for as long as six months, giving him an absolutely free hand. “However, he does give me a word or two that I build into a song, and that works very well. In Dev D, he gave me ‘emotional atyachaar’ and in Almost Pyaar, his two words that are part of a song are ‘ghanghor connection’.”

Alaya F. said, "This was supposed to be my debut film. I was auditioning for couple of films but wasn't getting anything and started having serious doubts about my abilities, but then I met Anurag Sir. When I entered his place, he looked at me and said, ‘There is no place for you in my films’. But I had taken along a seven minute showreel, which he agreed to watch. And after watching my reel, he instantly signed me for the film. So I'm immensely grateful to him for having that faith in me. It will be my third released film." On her equation with lead actor Karan Mehta, she confided, “I have known him for over a decade, but while shooting, we had the silliest, childish, arguments, but nothing major.”

Debutant Karan Mehta said "It is a dream come true to work with Anurag Sir. I used to make short films. His daughter Aaliyah showed them to Anurag sir, and I received a message from him to work on this film. Earlier, I was an assistant director, and ShahRukh Khan’s Raees is one of the films I worked on as an AD."

Producers Ranjan Singh and Kabir Ahuja said that they came on board last and had full faith in the film. Shariq Patel, for his part, revealed that ZEE Studios came on board at the very end of the ‘train’, as the last bogey, to distribute the film. They saw the film, liked it, and decided to distribute it. In fact, they already had the TV and OTT rights, so it was a logical progression.

This writer asked Anurag what was focus of the film, which, from the trailer, appeared to be about the generation gap, since this is something that has existed since time immemorial. Kashyap responded, “You are absolutely right. But the there is a much bigger chasm between the earlier generation, like mine (he is 50 years old) and Gen Z. In fact, every time technology takes a leap, the gap gets widened. So, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G make four generations. iPhone 7 to iPhone 14 is so many generations. We, the parent generation are that much apart from them, the Gen Z. I have explored the theme that a boy and a girl cannot be friends. For this new generation, they can be friends. And they value their privacy. They do not like being asked what they were doing with each other.”

On being asked how he manages to get the best out of his unit, Anurag Kashyap stated, "I leave it to them to deliver their best. After all, once I have them on board, it means I have faith in them. And ifyou leave it to person, he or she deliver the best, for that is what they are here to do."

Presented by Zee Studios under the Good Bad Films banner (which has an interesting, animated logo), Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat is slated for release on 3rd February 2023, in the Valentine month.

As the proceedings drew to a close, Shariq Patel surprised everyone by announcing that he was playing the role of DJ Mohabbat in the film.

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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