Nawazuddin’s Portrayal Of Manto – Honest And Unadulterated

Manto’s myriad shades through Siddiqui

Nawazuddin’s Portrayal Of Manto - Honest And Unadulterated
Image Credit: Movie: Manto

‘Manto’, a movie which has been presented at the 71st Cannes Film Festival has been in talks lately. The movie is based on Saadat Hassan Manto, who was an acclaimed author and playwright. Nawazuddin Siddiqui was picked by director Nandita Das to play the lead role, that is, the role of Saadat Hassan Manto. Nawazuddin Siddiqui portrayed the rebel writer during the British era quite the best.

When India was facing the horrendous tortures of the British, there was one man, who never quite let his guard down, and was known as the patriotic writer. Nawazuddin Siddiqui quite rightly tried to portray the role of Manto in that very fashion. The movie also portrays the court case that was made against Manto for his vivid short story, ‘Thanda Ghosht’. Nawazuddin’s styling and dressing also seemed to be quite in tune with the real Manto. We find Siddiqui in the Independence era fashion with glasses and ‘khaki’ made dresses. What is more interesting is that his look which was shared from the first teaser was enthralling and seemed to be one of the best factors of the movie.

When the teaser came out, hashtags like #CannesWithManto revolved around the entirety of social media. As it goes, the most controversial years of Manto’s life have been shown vividly in the movie. The two countries where Manto has spent his days have also been shown in details, the two countries being the neighbours India and Pakistan. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s portrayal also emphasized on how Manto’s life completely changed when he had to deliberately move from his beloved place ‘Bombay’ to ‘Lahore’ where no one knew him while in Bombay, his works were hugely appreciated by everybody who loved literature. Also, Manto had no company of friends in the new land. Siddiqui also had to portray the drunk Manto at times when his career was going downward.

The actor made sure to portray Manto the way he was. He did not try to add his own touches which helped the makers in portraying a character in full honesty. Manto’s life and the conflicts that he had to face have been played with quite well.