Published: 16th October 2018
With his short film Kaaley, Director Hamza Ali shows us the flip side of demonetisation
A crew of 10 to 12 people accompanied Ali while shooting. His editor dropped out at the last moment so, Ali had to edit the movie himse
November 8, 2016 is a date inscribed in the minds of several Indians as it was from this date that ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes became invalid. On the same night, a businessman came home to find that a huge sum of black money he'd hoarded has been stolen from his house. He ropes in a corrupt cop to help trace the thieves, who themselves seem to have lost the money. Thus goes the fictional tale of Kaaley based in a dark world which is anything but fictional. Directed by Hamza Ali, this 35-minute-long short film shows what happens when greed takes over. Though the movie was shot in May last year, Ali had started working on the backstory much before that. And what needs to be noted about the film is that it has no dramatic flares, "At no point do we try to evoke a feeling of sympathy nor do we preach, it is as objective as it can be," says the 28-year-old who started his career by working with a couple of Telugu writers and currently, directs ads and corporate films to sustain his passion for filmmaking.
Six Sigma Films are their release partners, while the movie was produced by two of Ali's friends who are based in the US. Ali is known for his two-minute films, Common Sense Kee Baat, which is based on different kinds of social issues
Though the movie was shot in Hyderabad, it feels like it is based out of Maharashtra because of the 'MH' on the car's number plates and the pictures of Bal Thackeray and Chhatrapati Shivaji that one can spot in the scenes. These props were placed because Ali wanted the movie to be in Hindi, for a more pan-nation appeal. We would say Ali succeeded in connecting with the audience. And thanks to the cast, who undertook workshops, and the crew, they were able to wrap the shoot in seven days flat. "The nitty-gritties were hammered out during the workshops, which made shooting easier," says the director who did approach a few production houses in Mumbai with the script, but eventually, Kaaley became an indie film. "It also served as a testing ground for me and gave me the confidence to pull off a feature-length film as well," says Ali who was born and brought up in Guntur. Does that mean that we can expect a full-fledged movie from him soon? He affirms and adds that, this time, the movie will be based in Hyderabad and in contrast to Kaaley, which is a grim movie, his next will be an emotionally uplifting one.
The movie is about how cities urge humans to earn and be greedy and how money has encrypted our minds
Hamza Ali, Filmmaker
Finally, Ali is happy with what he is doing — his dream job, directing. It was the reason he dropped out of RVR Institute of Engineering and Technology and the reason he came to Hyderabad in 2010. "I have always believed that filmmakers have a certain responsibility and they need to understand that cinema is a sensitive medium," says Ali. Before he signs off, Ali says that he is trying to arrange for a screening of Kaaley in Lamakaan and we hope that it happens soon.
Four movies that changed Ali's life
This meaningful Telugu movie with its beautiful message blew Ali's mind. He recalls that he had bunked school to watch this movie
This Rajkumar Hirani movie released when Ali was dropping out of college, so it gave him a sense of belief.
Dog Day Afternoon
This Al Pacino-starrer helped Ali realise that life is ugly and not everything goes as per plan.
This French film, "directed by master craftsman Michael Haneke," is a heartwarming portrayal of love and marriage.
First glimpse: Ali's film Kaaley is also on YouTube
Reach Out: facebook.com/hamza.