Usman Mukhtar is set to make a powerful comeback to the big screen with his role as SSP Sarmad Zaman in the upcoming film Chikkar. Although the actor has been featured in several short films, his last major cinematic appearance was in Parchi, released in 2018.
The teaser of his latest movie, Chikkar released last week, offering a glimpse into a gripping narrative that navigates the complexities and struggles within society. Alongside the teaser, Mukhtar captioned, “Chikkar is us. It’s the oppressed and the oppressor,” setting the stage for a film that promises to delve into the dynamics of power, silence, and hope.
The film, directed by Zaheer Uddin and produced by Dareechey Films, boasts an ensemble cast along with Mukhtar, including Adnan Shah Tipu, Ushna Shah, Saleem Meiraj, Faryal Mehmood, and Usama Javaid Haider.
The teaser opens with a striking scene featuring Faryal Mehmood dancing in a crowd of men. This image is full of symbols and hints at the story dealing with challenges in society.
Different places like government buildings, long hallways, dimly lit rooms, and open fields are shown, and characters move with clear intentions. Every scene suggests there are many layers to the story, making us excited about what will unfold. The poster adds more intrigue, saying the film is like a “social diary of 8 days,” implying that important events will happen within that time.
Usman Mukhtar Spills The Beans
In an exclusive interview with Galaxy Lollywood, Mukhtar shared insights into his role and experiences during the filming of Chikkar.
The actor expressed his enthusiasm for the role, saying, “What made me choose this character was the way Zaheer bhai explained the entire film to me. The narration was so great, and I felt like we need this kind of cinema because there’s one side that’s making a lot of rom-coms, but nobody is making these kinds of stories which are so grounded, rooted, and close to reality.”
He added, “Also, Zaheer bhai’s a great director and I really wanted to work with him. I absolutely enjoyed playing Sarmad Zaman; it was a big responsibility, but I had a wonderful time.”
Reflecting on his experience working with seasoned actors, Mukhtar stated, “I’ve always considered Saleem bhai and Tipu bhai, few of the finest actors of our country. You get to learn so much from these actors. They are seniors, and they are such great actors. We had a fantastic time shooting this film because every actor that Zaheer bhai had picked was excellent. There were times on set when these actors would perform, and you would just forget your lines while just looking at them because they were all so good. I had an amazing time working with Tipu bhai and Saleem Meiraj”
He praised Ushna Shah, saying, “I think Ushna is such an underrated actor. She’s such a brilliant actor, and she has done so wonderfully in this film. When the audience watches this film, they’ll understand how amazing she is.”
“Zaheer bhai is like my older brother. Working with Zaheer bhai and Dareechey Films is like shooting with family. I’ve had a really good experience working with them,” Mukhtar shared.
Director Zaheer Uddin’s Perspective
Let’s delve into what Director Zaheer Uddin had to share about his thoughts on the film and explore some intriguing aspects.
Zaheer Uddin explained, “This is a contemporary film, in terms of writing, direction, acting, cinematography, and editing. Since the film is so contemporary, the title had to be different too. It also shows that we’ve taken a risk in the film.”
The director emphasised, “I am a firm believer that films are supposed to entertain people and bring a change in society. It influences people. Unfortunately, the good content is being taken away from the cinema and is now shown on OTT. Cinemas are only showing larger-than-life stories, which I feel isn’t a great thing.”
He added, “Cinemas are supposed to influence and entertain people since you’re making it for the public. This movie is intense but has 60-65% relatable humour. We’ve kept things on the lighter side, even serious scenes are very engaging and entertaining.”
He further revealed the inspiration behind Chikkar, saying, “Everything that’s happening around us has motivated me to do this story. It’s called a social diary because it’s a reflection of what’s happening in the story in the past few years.”
He also shared insights into casting, “Usman was the first choice because he has that aura which is apt for the character. He is perfectly fit for this character, and I had to direct him the least because he’s tailor-made for this character.”
Talking about the positive energy on the set, Zaheer Uddin said, “It was a wonderful experience. This movie is packed with brilliant actors. We have various actors from the theatre. The energy on the set was positive, hence the work turned out to be so well.”
When asked about the decision of not having a festive release, the director explained,
“I think the formula of Eid release isn’t working anymore. Even the movies that released this Eid did the same amount of business that non-festive ones did. This movie doesn’t have the vibe of festive, so it wouldn’t make sense to release it on Eid.”
As the countdown to the release date of Chikkar begins, audiences can expect a cinematic masterpiece that not only entertains but also challenges societal norms. The movie is set to release on 22 December 2023.