- Sheezan Mohammed Khan is Ali Baba, Mustafa’s son, caretaker of five orphan children, Mariam’s love interest and Iblis’ enemy.
- Subhan Khan as young Ali Baba
- Tunisha Sharma as Shehzaadi Mariam, princess of Kabul, Sultan’s daughter, Ali Baba’s love interest.
- Karthik Jayaram as Iblis, leader of 40 thieves, Simsim’s friend and a dreadful and deadly warrior.
- Sayantani Ghosh as Simsim, Guardian of the Cave.
- Naved Aslam as Mustafa, Ali Baba’s father and a great sorcerer who was killed by Iblis.
Ali Baba: Dastaan-e-Kabul is an Indian fiction television series based on the Arabian Nights character Ali Baba. Produced by Alind Srivastava and Nissar Parvez under Peninsula Pictures, starring Sheezan Mohammed Khan and Tunisha Sharma.
The tale begins in Kabul with a fierce story telling about Ali Baba and the forty thieves, which terrifies the listeners but concludes with a sly smile; the narrator informs that Ali Baba and the forty thieves are no more! In comes a bunch of horse-riding men that introduces Ali Baba. Ali Baba is the son of Mustafa a great sorcerer who was killed by Iblis. Iblis is the leader of the forty thieves and a friend of Simsim, a dreadful & deadly warrior and guardian of the Cave.
The series follows the life of an orphan Ali Baba, from the Mamuli Gali (the downtrodden live here) of Kabul, and the challenges he faces while he tries to protect and take care of five other orphan children like a father. Ali Baba faces discrimination from the residents of the Shahi Rasta (where the affluent live). There is also Shehzaadi Mariam, princess of Kabul, Sultan’s daughter, who is Ali Baba’s love interest. The initial episodes reveal the pivotal characters of Ali Baba, Iblis, the secret cave and of course simsim the guardian of the cave who is also close to Iblis.
The elements that need appreciation for the series is its visuals, the locations, costumes, photography, et al. This probably would be the first TV series to shoot extensively in the scenic beauty of Ladakh. The shots are mesmerizing and detailed. The episode that takes the narrative into the cave is as grand as any international fiction that we have seen. In fact, there are trappings that would remind you of the popular Dr. Strange sorcery with equally good VFX. The complete setting in the cave is amazing with the treasure that does not look fake or dud and is believable. There is enough action in sorcery involving Mustafa and Simsim clad in a rich magnificent attire.
The overall series is very colourful with super colourful costumes and detailed designs in a huge variety. Kudos to the art director and the creative team. One surely gets transported in the imaginary world of Ali Baba thanks to the effective VFX. There is a great command over the language and it appears to be kept tight to urdu / proper Hindi with the Afghani hint.
All in all Ali Baba – Dastaan-e-Kabul is a breakthrough in Hindi family entertainment on television and a must watch for audience of all ages.
Director: Maan Singh Manku
Cast: Sheezan Mohammed Khan (Ali Baba), Tunisha Sharma (Shehzaadi Mariam), Karthik Jayaram (Iblis), Sayantani Ghosh (Simsim), Naved Aslam (Mustafa)
DoP: Kunal Kadam
Story / Screenplay: Faisal Akhtar, Pallavi Mehta
Dialogues: Rishabh Sharma
Creative Director: Tushar jai Bhatia
Creative Designer: Smrati Kukreja
Theme Background Music: Shoubhik Chakraborty
Art Director: Chaukas Bhardawaj
Set Design: Vinod Bagh (Future Studio)
VFX: Peninsula Studio