Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui is excited to bring the life of Pakistan’s short story writer Sadat Hassan Manto alive on the silver screen through actress and filmmaker Nandita Das’s project titled “Manto”.
Calling it an “interesting project”, the actor says he was drawn to the “interesting challenge of doing a period drama”.
Nandita will be tracing the life of Manto in her new directorial, which also focuses on the time of partition. And recently at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, the critically-acclaimed actress announced that Nawazuddin will play the title role in “Manto”.
“Manto was a very famous writer in the 1940s-1950s and I am excited to play him making this a rather interesting project. When Nandita discussed this with me at Cannes, I was drawn to the interesting challenge of doing a period drama,” Nawazuddin said in a statement.
Nawazuddin attended the film gala as his film “Raman Raghav 2.0”, which is based on Mumbai’s notorious serial killer Raman Raghav, was screened at the fest.
The actor won many plaudits for his gripping act in filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s film, which narrates the story of the serial killer, who went on a murder spree in Mumbai in the 1960s.
It features Nawazuddin as the notorious serial killer alongside Vicky Kaushal, who plays a police officer.
If sources are to be believed, Nawazuddin has initiated prep for the film and in fact he has already done costume tests for the role.
Nandita, who co-wrote the film with Mir Ali Hussain, had earlier told IANS that actor Irrfan Khan was “seriously looking at the script” as he’s a big fan of the Pakistani short story writer’s body of work.
Manto, who died in 1955 at the age of 43, penned an impressive body of work touching various genres.
He churned out about 22 collections of stories comprising of a novel, essays, personal sketches and movie scripts. Out of his literary gems was a story on Mirza Ghalib, a poet who is oft compared with the stature of Shakespeare. His work also gained attention for weaving stories around the ordeal of partition as well as sexuality.
Pakistani filmmaker Sarmad Sultan Khoosat has already made a film titled “Manto”, and it was screened at the 21st Kolkata International Film Festival last year.