Arif Ali has a great sense and understanding of the youth and their passions, their craziness, the stuff that gives them adrenaline rush and moreover, he knows how to portray them in a movie. He is a great writer who writes offbeat stories somewhat like his well-established brother who has made movies like Rockstar,
Jab We Met
, Highway, etc. In an interview when being asked about how he became a director, he says that- It was when he had come to Bombay to do his Economics Honours from Xavier’s Institute of Communication,he was called by his friend’s father who was directing a show called “
” and required someone who could translate the English dialogues into Hindi.
He was suggested by his friend to his father as I had command over Hindi language. He then travelled to Bangalore and since then, made a lot of trips back and forth from Mumbai to Bangalore. It was his second year of graduation when he took up the job of a flunkey in ZEE tv, following his brother Imtiaz. After graduation, he got a job at Cinevista and started writing a detective show and was also one of the writers of the very popular TV series Sanjivani- A Medical Boon.
He then directed and produced many shows independently and joined UTV and worked as a Creative Director for five years when he left the job in order to pursue his dream of making and directing a film. He narrates his days in UTV when the director of Queen, VikasBahl worked in the movies section and he worked in the tv series section, Vikas was fond of his writing and asked if he could write a movie for him. He did, but somehow the movie could not be brought into the process. Sometimes later, he again wrote a script and the one person he took it to was
. It was Bahl who really liked the movie and asked him to direct it.
The movie was none other than his debut movie “Lekar Hum DeewanaDil”. In UTV itself he met DinooVijan who also agreed to produce it. When asked about the role Imtiaz Ali played in his journey of making a movie, he says- He and his brother agreed on the term that Arif would neither seek Imtiaz’s help nor would he be provided by his brother on his own. He exclaimed that Imtiaz set his journey all alone and that is exactly how is going to be me. His relation with his brother as described him is like any normal small town siblings.
They fought and played. Once, Imtiaz got Arif hurt that gave him minor fracture in the head. He told that many times it happened that girls talked to him in school only to get to talk to Imtiaz as he was quite smart, intelligent and famous. It kind of held him back from being close to my brother but then he moved out of Jamshedpur to pursue his dreams and that is when it struck me hard how much he missed him. It was exactly then when both of them became best friends. He has also suffered a lot financially as the first movie of any director doesn’t really get him paid. So, he was broke, since his wife worked in the world trade centre, she along with their kids moved to Geneva. He then was left with 400 Rs cash with him and no penny in the bank. He had to put his car on sale.
On being asked why he portrayed a love story- He says that he is mentally as that of a twenty-year old, stills live his passion and has the same zeal and enthusiasm. He has a car that is electric blue. Now, he is preparing for his second film “Sitaarey” which is a musical drama based on the life of the two most popular singers of the 70-80s, Mohd. Rafi and
. It may have
as one of the lead cast.