The last Bollywood heard of Muzaffar Ali was when he was doing Zooni with Dimple Kapadia and Vinod Khanna. It was a dream Project conceived by Muzaffar Ali and supported by Dr Farooq Abdullah the then chief minister of J&K state
Though some reels were shot at various locations in Kashmir but the onset of armed Militancy made Muzaffar Ali pack up from Kashmir. Zooni was shelved and forgotten. Heart broken, Muzaffar Ali left Kashmir abandoning the project altogether. As Zooni was his dream project and with Kashmir restoring back to normaly, it was expected that Muzaffar Ali would restart the project. He instead started “Raqs - The Dream Within” with Pakistani heartthrob Imran Abbas, who is making his Bollywood debut with Bipasha Basu in 'Creature 3D'. The film was shot in Lucknow and at the director's own home at his hometown Kotwara; and is expected to hit the theatres next year.
This period film is set 20 years after the Rekha-starrer 'Umrao Jaan' and same as Umrao, this also focuses on the life of a revolutionary dancer. According to sources, the director has roped in stylist and costume designer Pernia Qureshi as the leading lady who is also a great dancer. The dance sequences in the film have been choreographed by Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj and it seems Pernia has really danced her life out into the film.
But what remains to be seen is whether Ali will be able to recreate the same 'Umrao Jaan' magic with newcomers in this dance drama when dance based film 'Aaja Nachle' with dancing heavy weight Madhuri Dixit have not been very successful at the box office.