Adman debuts with gangster reality drama in 'Seher'

Jul 24, 2005 Nitin Sethi, Jul 24


Mumbai, July 24 (IANS) Another directorial debut by an ad-film maker.

Another tough-talking and intense gangster movie.

But "Sehar", adman Kabeer Kaushik's first venture, starring Arshad Warsi, Mahima Chaudhary and Sushan Singh, claims to be the first film to be based on real incidents.

And it also has girls from Mumbai slums matching vocal chords with popular playback singer Alka Yagnik.

According to Kaushik, "Seher" - meaning dawn - brings out the grim picture of the mafia in Uttar Pradesh that threatens to undermine the cultural richness and beauty of India's most populous state, especially its capital Lucknow.

"We have always wanted to bring out the issues that eclipse the cultural heritage of the beautiful city of Lucknow. It is my first effort and I am looking forward to the release," said Kaushik.

He felt that viewers no longer appreciated stereotypical formula films and item numbers, and expected to see more of issues affecting the common man on the big screen.

Produced by Ashwin J. Patel, "Sehar" wears an unconventional look.

Arshad Warsi is district top cop Ajay Kumar and Mahima Choudhary plays college lecturer Anamika Kant. Veteran Pankaj Kapur is Bhole Shankar Tiwari, a reader in an IT university.

The story revolves around the Special Task Force (STF), which challenges the might of "organised crime" and mafia in Uttar Pradesh.

Ajay Kumar is the newly appointed 31-year-old cop who is the thread that knits a group of committed police officers in the STF.

What unfolds is the ever-changing dynamics of Uttar Pradesh administration-railway contracts, the politician-mafia-police-builder nexus, active criminal gangs, sophisticated yet rigid red tape, Pakistani intelligence agencies and criminalisation of college students.

According to the director, the plot and the episodes in the movie are based on true incidents that have been researched extensively.

In a bid to infuse as much reality as possible, actual STF officers instrumental in the rescue of a Mumbai stockbroker's son were involved in the movie for key inputs.

The Indian Railways provided a special train (Mumbai-Valsad-Mumbai) for eight days to shoot the "action" climax.

Technology also plays an important role. The STF in the film eliminates the Uttar Pradesh political classes through electronic surveillance.

The film shows the STF overcoming its discomfiture with mobile technology, which is the mafia's biggest tool, and using it to their advantage. The film ends with a hope for a better society.

Shot in 62 days, the film tries to project the essence of Lucknow-a city rich with tradition and old world charm-and there are plenty of aerial shots.

Mahima Chaudhary describes her experience: "Kabeer has made this film like a school boy with complete homework, lots of hard work, honesty, which is something that attracted me towards the film."

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