Entertainment Bollywood 09 Feb 2017 Have admired Nawazud ...

Have admired Nawazuddin's range, authenticity as an actor: Nandita on his Manto

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SUBHASH K JHA
Published Feb 9, 2017, 12:30 am IST
Updated Feb 9, 2017, 12:36 pm IST
Nandita Das’ sole focus for the next three months is to direct the biopic on Saadat Hasan Manto with Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
I have no doubt that Nawaz is the best choice for Manto, says Nandita Das
 I have no doubt that Nawaz is the best choice for Manto, says Nandita Das

Nandita Das’ sole focus for the next three months is to direct the biopic on Saadat Hasan Manto with Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The director excitedly shared, “We just did a test with Nawaz and Rasika Duggal for Manto and his wife Safia. While there is an uncanny resemblance, this is work in progress and there is much to be done — in terms of how Manto looked and more importantly, how he was as a person — his attitude, sensitivity, courage and fears.”

Nandita, who has earlier directed Nawaz in her directorial debut, is sure that he is the perfect fit. “I have no doubt that Nawaz is the best choice for Manto. His range as an actor and sensitivity as a person are both needed here. Firaaq was the first feature length film where Nawaz was seen in a substantial role. Since then, I have admired his range and authenticity as an actor. Manto is a challenging role and the nuances required to perform Manto are found in very few actors. I have full faith in his ability to do justice to a character as complex and layered as Manto’s. Nawaz too has expressed his full faith in me in doing justice to the subject.”

 

Nandita and her writer Ali Mir have been researching on the subject for three years now. She admits that the biggest challenge thus far has been to choose the bits of Manto’s life that will be put on screen. “What to keep and what to let go, has been the most difficult thing. But I have narrowed down to the most interesting seven years in the life of Manto. It is not based on any one book, or any specific work. From my Lahore visits to interacting closely with his family and friends, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know Manto beyond what one can find in books. I feel fortunate that all three of Manto’s daughters and his grand niece Ayesha Jalal, the historian, are giving me their unconditional support for the project.”

 

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