“Whether or not the movie runs, life should be a superhit,” Ali Fazal’s hero declares in the trailer of Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Milan Talkies. The movie has been in the making for several years, and will finally be released on March 15. The story, screenplay and dialogue are by Dhulia and Kamal Pandey.

Fazal plays Annu, an aspiring filmmaker in a Uttar Pradesh town who falls in love with the sister (Shraddha Srinath) of a local political heavy (Sikander Kher). The title also refers to the single-screen cinema that nurtures Annu’s filmmaking dreams. Annu pays tribute to Dilip Kumar in Mughal-e-Azam and Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar, while the film itself seems to be a homage to Dhulia’s formative years in Allahabad and his acclaimed debut Haasil in 2003.

Dhulia’s last released film was Saheb Biwi and Gangster 3 in 2018. He is also an occasional actor (Gangs of Wasseypur, Zero), and plays Fazal’s father in Milan Talkies. The movie marks South Indian actress Shraddha Srinath’s Hindi film debut. The cast includes Ashutosh Rana and Sanjay Mishra.

Milan Talkies.