Mir Sarwar talks about his upcoming film, ‘Kedarnath’ and the very recent crime thriller film ‘Aiyaary‘.
As filmmakers, it is not our responsibility to provide the audiences with an answer, but to make them question in the first place.
Mir Sarwar has an interesting combination of skills and a good amount of talent. Post release of Neeraj Pandey’s Bollywood crime thriller ‘Aiyaary‘, Mir simply couldn’t go unnoticed for his stellar performance in the film. He is super active in his professional life but you cannot gauge any of that by observing his calm demeanour.
Off-camera, he is casual and candid. He is so much of everything– authoritative yet humble, sensitive yet determined. Coming from a martial arts background, he exudes the extreme focus of a martial artist. With films like ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘Phantom’, ‘Jolly LLB 2’, ‘Half Widow‘ and ‘Kashmir Daily’ to his credit, it is quite evident that he is in the right direction when it comes to his choice of films.
Mir opens up on his much-awaited film ‘Kedarnath’, directed and co-produced by Abhishek Kapoor, and another film by Dharma Productions with great exuberance. ‘Kedarnath’ will mark Saif Ali Khan’s daughter, Sara Ali Khan’s debut in acting.
I am glad that I will be collaborating with Hussein on another film called ‘Bed No. 17’. But he is acting and I am directing, so we are basically exchanging roles.
He says, “I have recently finished shooting for ‘Kedarnath’ and it was definitely one of the most challenging works in my entire career. It was difficult keeping the weather and the location in mind. But I guess challenges make the work more interesting. I am fond of difficult tasks. I am looking forward to another project by Dharma Productions. The role is pretty interesting and involves a lot of background research.”
Though ‘Aiyaary‘ was a letdown at the box office, the Indian actor is all in favour of the director, Neeraj Pandey.
Mir confesses, “It was a wonderful experience working with Neeraj Pandey. I had the role of an Army officer and I really enjoyed my part. It was different from everything that I had done in the past. There were a lot of changes in my appearance as well, and I think an actor needs to be as versatile as possible- in the kind of roles and appearance that he picks and adapts for himself. Neeraj has an eye for detail and he doesn’t let go of the tiny nuances that makes a scene interesting. He is level-headed and extremely fair.”
Having worked with an array of stars like Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkummar Rao, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Manoj Bajpai, the Srinagar born actor devours hard work and keeps his unflinching focus on his career intact, especially on roles which challenge him.
“You get to learn a lot from other actors. They were extremely humble but were also very professional. You get to learn how they enact particular scenes and you also get to know about their journey. Nothing comes easy after all. What I actually want to do is contribute to the society, in whichever way possible. I want to see my work making a difference. I have always taken risks so I am not scared or intrigued by the idea. At the very beginning, I didn’t really have anybody to guide me and I had no film background; my family runs a simple business in Srinagar. Since I belong to an orthodox family, everybody was startled when I told them about my decision to do modelling. Back then, nobody thought of acting as a serious career choice. I moved to Delhi for modelling and started doing a couple of shoots for ad commercials and music videos. I also did theatre. I moved to Mumbai to establish myself as an actor, and yes, it did take time. You need to get out of your comfort zone if you want to succeed but everything is worth it if you want it enough.”
Unemployment and drug abuse are both growing at an alarming rate in Kashmir. The film addressed both these issues. As soon as I started working on the film, I knew that it would connect with the audiences.
Kashmiri film director, Hussein Khan and Mir had recently collaborated for ‘Kashmir Daily‘ that was the first film in forty-five years that got screened outside the valley. Amidst the perpetual political disorder, Hussein managed to conjure a creative diary of a journalist who raised a voice against drug abuse and unemployment, with Mir as the lead.
“Unemployment and drug abuse are both growing at an alarming rate in Kashmir. The film addressed both these issues. As soon as I started working on the film, I knew that it would connect with the audiences. As filmmakers, it is not our responsibility to provide the audiences with an answer, but to make them question in the first place. I had an amazing experience working with Hussein Khan, and I’m glad that we could execute the film the way we wanted. We both were based in different cities and came with a set of different experiences, so that really broadened our horizon and helped in the making of the film. Though it took time, it wouldn’t have been completed without the support of our friends and close ones. We both wanted the film industry in Kashmir to get better. I am glad that I will be collaborating with Hussein on another film called ‘Bed No. 17’. But he is acting and I am directing, so we are basically exchanging roles. “
Sarwar also worked with Mani Ratnam in the Tamil film ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’ and feels privileged to have had the opportunity to learn so much from the renowned director. He also states that ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ proved to be a turning point in his career. The comedy-drama film directed by Kabir Khan was a super hit and received an overwhelming response from the audiences. The film’s final domestic gross was ₹433 crore and earned ₹761.51 crore, worldwide.
He also adds his love for Satyajit Ray’s films and expresses his interest towards Iranian Cinema.
“What moves me about Iranian films, especially works of filmmakers like Abbas Kiarostami, Majid Majidi, Jafar Panahi, Asghar Farhadi is that they create works of simplicity while addressing day-to-day issues. If there’s another Indian director that I really admire, then that is Shekhar Kapur. While shooting for ‘Kedarnath’, Sushant and I had discussed how his style of filmmaking is extremely unique.”
For those who are adamant about pursuing your goals, Sarwar has a clear message: “The industry is no cakewalk. I have learnt things on my own. I have made mistakes and always headed towards improving myself. As long as your ambitions for yourself are clear, you will always do things that make you better. You will work towards making your skills better, both professionally and personally. You need to be honest with yourself- your dreams, your passion and your expectation, and everything eventually falls in place.”
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