In a rare conversation on his observation on the changes in the film industry Anwar says, “I feel 18 at 80!!! Because our films, the great classics have aged so beautifully and I have been part of many a journey in some way or the other. It was always about the numbers. Box office has always mattered. The same box office that depends solely on but one factor..good storytelling. Fortunately for Indian cinema, we Indians emerge out of a truly rich and beautiful cultural ethos to be able to tell an equally compelling story time and again.Many have come to be evergreen, timeless works of art… from Raja Harishchandra, Keechakavatham, Mughal-e-Azam, Mother India,Kagaz ke Phool, to Mera Naam Joker,Devdas , both the Dilip Kumar and Shahrukh Khan versions,, Sholay, Kunwara Baap, Black, Lagaan, to the more recent Dangal, Baahubali, just to name a few…I feel blessed to be born and brought up in this magnificent world of Indian cinema. The industry that has been a reflection of changing times as also a catharsis during times of change.”

Asked to pinpoint the landmark moments in the evolution of Hindi cinema, Anwar Ali replied, “Undoubtedly the contribution of Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani by way of Bombay Talkies is etched in my very being and.They were the raison d’être of our cinema.My father Mumtaz Ali, under the guardianship of the renowned journalist and editor of the Bombay Chronicle B.G.Horniman ( refer Horniman Circle), was personally introduced by Horniman to Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani at the very inception of Bombay Talkies, to be an integral part of their core team, as their in house choreographer, dancer, actor…father came to be known as the first male dancer of Hindi cinema.”

Anwar Saab’s tryst with the studio began at a tender age .“My father took me there in his Studebaker, only for me to hastily open the door in excitement thus rolling out of the moving car as we entered the compound!!On the other hand Mehmood bhai had the good fortune of doing Bombay Talkies’s Kismet when he was only 11!Somewhere, somehow, the seeds of creativity were sowed in our systems through the aura and the emotion that Bombay Talkies was….and we the children of Mumtaz Ali, carried on the good service of entertainment and film making well after its gradual decline.Today, as Bombay Talkies appears to be reduced to ruins, I proudly take my son Akaar, to the magical place where it all began for a large part of the film fraternity,as he in turn commences his unique journey as actor.”

Anwar isn’t too happy with the current trends in the movie business. “At present we seem to be impacted by digitisation and VFX . Technology continues to advance, stories are told and retold. Film makers like R. Balki, Shoojit Sircar, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajamouli, present a fresh perspective of storytelling. Actors today have crafted their own niche following, above and beyond the basics. Many mediums now, many opportunities now.Other than that, the open secret of film making is largely unchanged; you still need a good story to engage the audience. The story that touches one’s heart as Yash ji used to say…then rain or shine, people will watch…he had added.Story continues to be King! Ask Salim -Javed…Good soulful music with meaningful lyrics to match, continues to add poetry to the story. The all-time greats Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Mehmood, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Shahrukh Khan, Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Waheeda Rehman, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit….some entities are irreplaceable…Special mention of the stars behind the stars….visionaries like K. Asif, K.A. Abbas, Raj Kapoor, Satyajit Ray, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Yash Chopra, Mani Ratnam, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ashutosh Gowariker….the list goes on.”

Speaking on his brother the comedic genius Mehmood, Anwar Ali says, “Mumtaz Ali’s family was destined to receive abundant love and affiliation through the noble service of entertainment! Father Mumtaz Ali, sister Minoo Mumtaz, Bhaijaan, brother Usman then myself in some measure….Yes, Mehmood Bhaijaan seemed to have been the recipient of the largest part of that attention for the consistent dedication and hard work he put in to make people laugh….because that’s what he was most passionate about….reaching out to people and just making them laugh!Bhaijaan was extremely secure in his skin, hence giving others was second nature to him, may it be in the form of entertainment, help, charity or opportunity.He possessed the great quality of giving….so he gave in abundance…he made careers of various people in the film fraternity unconditionally.Not everyone may have had the opportunity to reciprocate. That may have been misconstrued.Disillusionment was not his cup of tea! He lived the life of a king, knowing well that it was not for him to receive…but to give.”