Manto should not only be seen ,but should also be remembered

Released on 21 September 2018,and, directed by Nandita Das , Manto is biographical movie drama  on the famous Urdu poet Sadat Hasan Manto. The movie has Nawazzudin Siddiqui as the lead star cast, and has played the role of  title character,  author and writer Manto. Tahir Raj Bhasin,  plays the 40’s Bollywood superstar Shyam Chadda.   Shyam was Manto’s friend, confidant, and inspiration for a number of stories. Rasika Duggal plays the role of Manto's wife, Safia. Manto is based on the 1940's post-Independence period of India.

Manto is shown as a well depicted writer of that time,who works in the film industry of the then Bombay,as a script writer. Ismat chugtai, the another , famous Urdu writer,has been shown as his close friend.  They both were acquitted from the charge of obscenity for their respective works. They are both acquitted from the charge of obscenity for their respective works. Manto had many admirers and friends from the film industry. The closest was Shyam Chadda, a charming budding actor and Ashok Kumar, a famous actor, director and producer. But, his biggest supporter and the unwavering pillar of strength was his wife, Safia and his two daughters.He was ready to do anything for their sake.

The story line moves further, India’s Independence is shown, and that a new nation is born Pakistan.Despite the Hindu-Muslim flaring tension in the country,his wife goes to attend her sister’s wedding,and he decides to stay back.  On a certain day, Shyam, on hearing that his family was forced to flee from Pakistan because of  Muslim mob attack,he curses them. A heated argument takes place between shyaam and Manto, and he shouts at  Manto in anger and says: “I could have even killed you.” Shocked and anguished on his these words, a non-practicing Muslim, Manto suddenly becomes conscious and aware of his religious identity and the vulnerabilities that comes along  with it. He impulsively makes the unimaginable decision of moving to Pakistan.

He moves to Lahore in 1948.A melancholic city full of refugees,forsaken property, homeless people and burnt building becomes his new home.He has a deep sense of betrayal, and to overcome fis depression he starts to take support of cigarettes and alcohol.Although, he had  constant support of his wife , Safia,but due to his constant alcoholic routine , their marriage starts facing trouble.

Thanda Gosht a story written by him gets accused of obscenity and faces many court trials,and which even  take a severe toll on his health and finances. His statement in defense of literature and free speech is met with a conviction. Despite this, he continues to pen some of his sharpest and most courageous works.

The main narrative is seamlessly interspersed with five of his poignant stories. The last one being his most famous story – Toba Tek Singh. Manto ends the story with, “two or three years after Partition, it occurred to the governments of India and Pakistan to exchange their lunatics like they had exchanged their criminals. The Muslim lunatics in India were to be sent to Pakistan and the Hindu and Sikh lunatics in Pakistani asylums were to be handed over to India.” The Sikh protagonist, who has vowed to remain standing until he finds his village, lies in death in no-man’s land, between the two nations.

Set in the era of 40’s the background of the movie takes us back to that time. Movie with one of the finest direction of Nandita Das,it has beautifully depicted the ideology and mindset of the people at that time and the condition that people went through at the time of partition.
Nawazzudin has undoubtedly and as always has done great job in the movie or you can even say that he has lived Manto. With perfect combination of the background,direction, dialogues and soundtrack Nandita Das has approximately done justice to the movie, and has managed to make people familiar with a legend like Manto.

In the end what we can learn from the movie is to stick to the truth and have faith on our work and ourselves. Manto teaches us to be truthful, whatever the situation may. 

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