As we all know that veteran actress and film maker Nandita Das is working on her Manto biopic and Nawazuddin Siddiqui is playing the most popular yet controversial short story writer but few have seen Nawazudding actually playing the legendary writer.
In a short video released today, Siddiqui explains what Manto actually stood for and why he had to face numerous allegations of writing explicit content. Aptly titled ‘In Defence Of Freedom’, the video shows Manto addressing a class full of students and defending his views.
The short film shows what Manto, the film will actually look like.
Meanwhile, the film’s producers have also asked for ‘help’ from the Indian public as they are looking for young girls to play Manto’s daughters.
The film will be produced by Vivek Kajaria under the banner of Holy Basil Production. This makes the Hindi debut for Kajaria after working on several Marathi films. They have also taken aboard US-based investor Robin Raina who is the chairman of a software company.
This will be the second film to be directed by Das after she made her debut with Firaaq in 2008 which star Naseeruddin Shah and received many positive reviews.
The movie, which many thought will not be able to see the light of the day, is now being seen as a viable project.
‘You are my Manto’
“When I met Nandita Das at her home, she said that I am her Manto and she had already prepared mind to cast me in the role,” Siddiqui told BBC Urdu last year in October.
Siddiqui claimed that Nandita thinks that he has seen and gone through a lot in his life but he cannot say the same about himself.
“I cannot say that about myself but yes, Manto was full of life and is as relevant today as he was in his time,” said the Manjhi actor.
“Manto is as relevant today as he was in his time”
He added that he has been reading Manto for last 22 years and has a strong connection with his stories though he has little knowledge about how the writer spent his life.
“I have read his stories and remained a part of a play on his personality. His work not only forces you to think but can give you goosebumps,” said Siddiqui.
The versatile actor maintained that portraying the character of a talented soul like Manto requires a lot of effort and reading but he feels that Nandita Das has more responsibilities on her shoulder than him.
“I will have to understand him to bring the expressions and intensity Manto had on his face,” said the Freaky Ali actor.
Famous as a provocateur, Urdu playwright and author Saadat Hasan Manto is considered among the greatest writers of short stories in history.
Manto produced 22 collections of short stories, one novel, five series of radio plays, three collections of essays and two collections of personal sketches.