Rumi set to hit big screen

Bollywood has been bitten by the lyrical mysticism of a thirteenth-century Muslim poet.

    Rumi is an unusual subject for a Bollywood film-maker

    Making a clean break from Hindi films' regular staple of mawkish potboilers, noted Indian director Muzzafar Ali is embarking on a pathbreaking 25 millior dollar film on the celebrated saint and poet, Rumi.

    The film starring some of Hollywood's biggest names will revolve around the life of Sheikh Jalaluddin Rumi and two of his greatest literary works - 'Diwan' and 'Mathnavi' - containing 26,000 couplets.

    For Ali, the director of one of India's all-time hit films 'Umraojan', the latest celluloid venture is an important milestone.

    Besides marking Ali's comeback to active filmmaking after a hiatus of more than a decade, it would be his personal tribute to a saint who united the world with his universal poems.

    "Rumi is important to the world because he united east and the west. I feel that when terrorism is the problem to the world, this film will make people realise it is important to understand each others cultures," Ali says.

    In his day, Rumi was celebrated by Christians, Jews and Buddhists, as well as Muslims. For seven centuries, his poetry has been sung in the Islamic world from India to Iran, Turkey to Afghanistan.

    Noted Indian director Muzzafar Ali is embarking on a pathbreaking 25 millior dollar film on the celebrated Persian saint and poet, Rumi

    Ali hopes that the film on Rumi would also find ready acceptance the world over.

    "His poems are very well read even in United States. He looks at the world as one world in his time. So his thoughts are important to highlight," Ali insists.

    Having researched Rumi's life for 10 long years, Ali is keen to cast some top Hollywood stars to make the film truly global.

    "Daniel Day-Lewis is right for the lead role of Rumi, while other key roles can be acted by Al Pacino or Robert De Niro," Ali says.

    Some Bollywood stars would hopefully also be adding substance to the film.

    Even the Turkish government is excited and has promised help in Ali's initiative to bring Rumi to life on the big screen.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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