A year ago, Imtiaz Ali’s brother Sajid Ali gave us a beautiful and mesmerising tale of Laila Majnu starring Avinash Tiwary and Tripti Dimri. We got two mad and passionate lovers Qais and Laila and their journey and adventure of love and quest to be with each other felt very personal. Laila Majnu was shot in Kashmir so the love on the screen looked more appealing and striking.
The film is one of the underrated films of 2018. The film is a great package of wonderful direction, cinematography, and storytelling flows like gratifying poetry. Laila Majnu’s music by Niladri Kumar and Joi Barua was purely enchanting.
Actor Avinash Tiwary made his Bollywood debut with Laila Majnu and the audience was bowled over with his performance as Qais (Majnu). His character was quirky and madly in love with Laila and the craziness and passion that his character possesses in the second half startled the audience. As Qais, Avinash gave an impeccable performance. As it’s #1YearofLailaMajnu, I spoke to Avinash Tiwary about the film, the music and much more.
Read the interview below:
It has been a year since Laila Majnu released. How does it feel?
Very honestly, when the film came out, I didn’t expect anything. I didn’t know what to expect. All I wanted at that point of time was to get a certain acknowledgement in the industry and be in a position to grab their attention which I feel that we have still not been able to achieve with that film. But at the same time, the love that I have got for the film from those who have been able to see it, from those who the film reached out to, I am really overwhelmed. I didn’t expect this kind of love. I remember Imtiaz sir telling me that a film is full of life and if its ending good, it will keep growing and keep finding its audience. I hope that keeps happening with Laila Majnu. It is made with lots of effort and heart. I hope the audience keeps growing and I hope it keeps happening till I die.
How much has life changed for you as an actor in this one year?
I don’t really think my life has changed much as an actor, post the film. What definitely has happened is more people are willing to get you for the film. That’s a great place to be in. Nothing drastic that has happened that will change my life in any way. What actually has happened is the whole social media engagement which I was completely away from and now I have made my profiles public, I share whatever I can and whatever I feel like. I have people who comment back and can respond to it. I realised that there are people who do what I do which I had no access to earlier. So, that’s kind of nice. But as far as the acting bit is concerned, the actor in me is concerned, it hasn’t much changed. I hope it does not. I hope I keep feeling this unrequited love from my job, the work that I do and I keep striving for it, keep longing for it, keep working towards it and I keep growing.
People meticulously observed your character Qais and thanked you for being such an unconventional yet perfect Majnu. When you see these posts online, what comes to your mind?
I have been seeing a lot of posts, especially Qais. Just to know that what you have done has been able to affect so many people and touch them is the greatest feeling that any actor can have. It only makes you strive harder to keep getting that love from everyone. Other than that, it also makes me strive harder to deserving to the love that I’ve got and I really hope that I’m able to do justice and the deserving of all the love that I have received. It’s really overwhelming.
The film received a great response from the critics and audience but wasn’t considered for nominations at award functions. You even tweeted about it. What do you have to say about that?
I am actually over the whole award functions and us not getting nominated. I think I’m done with it now. It’s past. If I feel something tomorrow, I will express it. But I don’t think I will keep baggage of it with me. It’s done and it was for that moment and it’s gone. Right now all I want is to get good work and keep doing my best. Hopefully, if I wasn’t able to grab attention then, I will be able to grab attention now, tomorrow or day after. Maybe, a few months, a few years down the line, but I will keep striving.
The music of Laila Majnu is one of the best albums of 2018. Which is your favourite song from the album?
I absolutely love the music of Laila Majnu. But not with any bias, I feel it’s one of the best albums of 2018. My favourite song actually is the scratch version of O Meri Laila song. That was the first song I heard and I used to absolutely love it. Then I kind of fell in love with Aahista. That was my favourite song for the longest. Then the radio version of O Meri Laila grabbed me. I love it, I keep playing it every now and then. And the last one that really grew on me was Tum. It took a while to grow on me, it’s something on my playlist from the film, every day.
When National Award winners were announced this year, many fans were upset that Laila Majnu’s composers didn’t win for Best Music Direction. Your thoughts?
Eventually, we have to realise that any award is a perspective or an opinion of the jury members. That does not become the absolute truth. The fact that they are the jury members, we should respect that. I’m sure they have thought of something different, they found it more appealing and grabbed their attention. Being a part of the film, I really feel that Laila Majnu should’ve been awarded. The kind of music that Niladri Kumar and Joi Barua gave us, deserves a mention. But that’s how it is. Hopefully, they keep working on some great music and who knows, from here on we shall hear them being awarded every year. I truly enjoy their music.