“Madaari” is the debut feature film from Seraj us Salikin. The trailer of the film, released a few days ago features a dark atmosphere and a story of revenge. While it drew immediate comparisons to “Laal Kabootar”, it features a very different story. PakistaniCinema.Net caught up with the director to shine some more light on his first feature.
The setting of “Madaari” is very much like the revenge films in the 70s that were based in urban areas. It brings to mind films like Amitabh Bachchan’s “Zanjeer”, or Waheed Murad’s “Jab Jab Phool Khiley”. However, the setting is decidedly more grounded. Director Seraj us Salikin says that the film’s essence draws from his own experiences and observations while living in Karachi. Of course, the film features inspirations from other things like news reports and specific violent events that formed the ethos of Karachi. Any Karachiite, or really any citizen of Pakistan that has kept up with the news in the last decade knows what Mr. Seraj means.
“Madaari” has been in development for over a year now. It took nearly 4 months to write and develop the screenplay and about 6-7 months for the entire thing to be shot. Mr. Seraj co-wrote the screenplay with “Chuppan Chuppai” actor Ali Rizvi. The latter also served as co-producer for the film. The film’s trailer shows that it’s not just a revenge saga. It also offers meditation on the very concept of revenge and its continuation into generations. Hence, it’s not going to be your average revenge masala flick.
It’s also not unfamiliar territory for Mr. Seraj to venture in to dark topics like this. His film “Taqseem”, shown at FocusPK, was centered on the Partition. It was described as “morbid” and “dark”, though these adjectives were used to direct praise at the film. Mr. Seraj admits that he likes to explore dark themes. He points out though that he isn’t alone in this, since most of Pakistani dramas are tragedies as well. He is quick to modify that statement though. He says that he’s written and made short films that are light-hearted and “slice of life” as well.
“Madaari” doesn’t have a release date yet. All that Seraj us Salikin says that it will release “soon”. The film stars Ibad Alam Sher, Paras Masroor, Hammad Siddiqui, Asiya Alam, and Aamir Naqvi.