I share Dashrath Manjhi's madness: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

  • Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 07, 2015 09:24 IST
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte in Manjhi - The Mountain Man.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui, whose upcoming film Manjhi - The Mountain Man has already been leaked on a peer-to-peer file sharing platform, has flicked away all concerns.

According to the National School of Drama graduate, those who love the magic of the big screen will flock to the theatres to watch his latest film anyway.

"This is a film of a man and a mighty mountain. You won't get the same kind of depth on your laptop. Those who want to witness the acting and the grandeur of the film wouldn't watch it via torrent," said Siddiqui.

"In any case, it's just a rough cut. These days people even watch Fast and Furious on the laptop. These people just want to say that they have seen a particular film. They don't remember anything after watching it. But, it will remain with you if you watch it on the silver screen," he added.


Dasrath Manjhi (File Photo)

The film is based on real life and tells the story of Dashrath Manjhi, a poor labourer from Gehlaur village in Bihar's Gaya district. Manjhi hammered and chiselled through a mountain to make a road in the memory of his wife who died because of the lack of timely medical attention as travelling to the nearest hospital took hours.

Bihar government has already decided to waive off entertainment tax on the film.

Siddiqui, known for his powerful and critically acclaimed roles in films like Miss Lovely and Gangs of Wasseypur, said playing Manjhi has been the most challenging role of his career and said he met the family members of the man who literally moved mountains to prepare for the film.

"It takes a certain type of madness to carry on the same task for more than 22 years. To get into the skin of such a character was definitely difficult. I have played three different stages of the same character's life in the film. I had some YouTube videos for reference, and we also visited Dashrath Manjhi's village where we met with his son and daughter-in-law and other people."

Watch: Manjhi - The Mountain Man trailer

"We reached Gaya some five-six days before the shooting. There I asked his daughter-in-law that Dashrath Manjhi used to love his wife so much that he actually brought down a mountain. Does your husband love you that much? She replied, "He doesn't even take me to the hospital if I get injured. Baat kahenge kharra, goli chale chahe charra," adds Siddiqui.

The hero of the hardworking and always aspiring middle class, who had to wait for many years before making it into the big league of Bollywood, said he can relate to the character of Dashrath Manjhi because of his own struggle in his life and career.

"Though I was an average looking 5 feet 6-inch man but I was determined to do it on my own in Bollywood. So, that willingness, that desire was there."

He also talked about pushing boundaries and leaving the comfort zone to constantly evolve as an actor.

"Whenever I feel that I have reached a saturation point, I put myself into a new position. I took a break from films to do some reporting job during the last parliamentary elections. There I had to come up with impromptu performances without any script. My emphasis is on shocking the audience, doing all sorts of roles."

The Kahani actor, who will soon be seen in Raees alongside Shah Rukh Khan, refused to divulge anything about his role in the film which is being directed by Rahul Dholakia and produced by Farhan Akhtar.

"I will only tell you that I am playing a cop in Raees."

Directed by Ketan Mehta Manjhi, which also stars Radhika Apte, Tighmanshu Dhulia and Pankaj Tripathi, will hit theatres on August 21.

(Interact with the author at Twitter/ @nawabjha)

Read: Manjhi - The Mountain Man goes tax-free in Bihar

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