Manto Movie Review: Never Before Does Nawazuddin Siddiqui Make Mantoiyat Come Alive On Big Screen

ngocbaonguyen |Sep 21, 2018

'Mara Nahin...Dekho Abhi Jaan Baaki Hain, Rehne Do Yaar...Main Thak Gaya Hoon', as Nawazuddin Siddiqui breathes life into Sadat Hasan Manto's words from 'Aaram Ki Zaroorat', it's sheer poetry on...

Rating: 3.5/5
Star Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Javed Akhtar, Rasika Duggal, Ranvir Shorey, Tahir Raj Bhasin
Director: Nandita Das

Manto is much like a brilliant piece of work. The movie’s ending left a lot of emotion for viewers. Let’s see how the film director Nandita Das depicts her characters. Also, don’t hesitate to read the meaning she conveys his real-life events.

The film first impressed fans with a short story about Manto. The film background set was in the 1940s. Manto movie is mostly based on India’s post-independence period during the 1940s.


Manto Movie: Stars & Actors

It is a great biological drama film in which it depicts Saadat Hasan Manto, a renowned Urdu author. As regards main characters, the author and writer Manto in the film gets starred by Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Tahir Raj Bhasin plays a successful role of a Bollywood celebrity whose name is Shyam Chadda in the 1940s. Throughout the film, Shyam plays a role as a Manto’s soul mate and friend. Moreover, Shyram is also a rich source of inspiration for a plenty of Manto’s stories. Another noticeable character that the director, Nandita Das demonstrates is Safia who plays as Manto’s wife. The superstar who plays this role is Rasika Dugal.

The world-known Indian filmmaker and actress, Nandita Das has conveyed a meaningful story to the real life. That story is about violent ones of the controversial author, Manto. To make the principal character familiar with the viewers, Nandita Das inspired viewers by an attractive introduction to a momentous writer of the 20th century.

Manto Movie: Thoughts & Feelings

The short story has its language written in Urdu. Shocking, sexual, violent, and sharpening, the movie reminisces about Isaac Babel in the years of 30’ and 40’. People’s life at brevity impact during that period is clearly depicted in the film. What’s more, they entered the film and the biography of the writer so harmoniously that they could become a part of his life.

His life transferred from a Bombay’s illustrious writer and author to just a fragile one. He then moved to Lahore post-independence. And, this is when his writings and piece of work were blamed for “sensationalism”. Manto acted so seamlessly that he charmingly interlaces his real-life events with other author’s contentious writings such as Toba Tek Singh, Khol Do, Dus Rupay Ka Note, and Thanda Gosht.

It is a sad fact that writers often find themselves lonely people. Hence, they need to find support, relief, and consolation in their own fictional stories in general and characters in particular. They seem to struggle a lot to have their own world even when they are overwhelmed by the crowd. The author Manto in the film and the well-known Urdu poet have explored a world filled with fiction. And, that is the world of imagination which is based on the pungent and harsh realities that he observes.

A highlight of the film was the great friendship better Manto and Shyam. He had a good rapport with Shyam, a Hindi superstar. However, these two friends were a bit different in some aspects. One lived introvertedly; whereas the other was active enchanter who wished to bring it to the screen. The scene that obviously shows these contradictory characters is the one in which Manto & Shyam use the term “Hiptulla”.

One of the greatest scenes is the way Manto and Shyam lift the toast to “Hiptullah”. It took places several hours was on a boat to Pakistan. In the same scene, Shyam proudly yells Pakistan Zindabad while Manto does the same for Bharat Zindabad. Definitely, it is such a tearful moment that will attract viewers.


Manto Movie: Story-telling Style

A point that is worth mentioning is Nandita Das’s story-telling style. She has an in-depth into her work and weaves film highlights with her real story. Then she surprisingly conceals the boundary between nonfiction and fiction thanks to a great style of telling the film story. Hence, she could straightforwardly express an unbiased narrative and description of Manto’s life.  If you deep into her writing style, it is easy to see that it is full of humor, comedy, irony, and sarcasm.

Manto Movie: Performance of Actors

Don’t forget to mention the stars’ performance to see how much they contribute to the film. First of all, Nawazuddin Siddiqui takes charge of his role so well that he acts like living his own life. The role of Manto seems to be written for him. Therefore, viewers would have a chance to enjoy such a great performance.

Regarding Rasika Dugal, she is Manto’s wife. Fans said that she is like a new gem of the film industry. She does not make fans disappointed by giving a flawless performance to entertain viewers through the big screen.

And, how’s about Tahir Raj Bhasin? He acts comfortably and assertively in every scene. He did an excellent job to reinforce the friendship between Manto and Shyam so closely.

Other stars such as Divya Dutta, Risshi Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Ila Arun, Ranvir Shorey, and Gurdas Mann also lend helping hands to make the film more gorgeous. Although they have a short time to appear on the big screen, their performances achieve high appreciation.  The film also endorses Javed Akhtar. His cameo during the film is short but enough to highlight the main character.

Manto Movie: Final Thoughts

There some typical last words for the character Manto. As previously mentioned, he is one of the 20th century’s greatest writers. The film’s ending will surely leave you in awe. Manto is such a vivid role to pure your soul and feeds you day by day.

The film portrayed Manto magnificently in the way that his writing talent is fruitfully shown. There’s a quote to Manto: It’s difficult to tell apart whether God or Manto is better. His writing touches the deepest feeling in people’s soul. Time has passed. However, this unanswered question still remains with time.

Actually, Nandita Das understands her character very wells. It appears that she has gone deep into Manto’s mind. That’s why she could know him inside out. As a result, she reaches a level of success for the role of Manto in the film.

All in all, it is a worthy film for relaxation. Watch it to enjoy great performances. Relish the weird writing and direction style of Nandita Das who conveys her realities so truthfully through the film.

For the film rating, I go for 3.5 stars.


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