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Manto trailer: Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer is a film for our unbearable times

Nawazuddin Siddqui transforms into Manto in looks and in spirit in the first trailer for Nandita Das’ hard-hitting movie.

bollywood Updated: Aug 15, 2018 10:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Manto,Nawazuddin Siddiqui,Manto Trailer
Nawazuddin Siddiqui in and as Manto.

Nandita Das’ Manto trailer wants you to pause before you celebrate the 72nd Independence Day and a free India. The trailer that stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as poet and thinker Saadat Hasan Manto wants you to look around and inwards and introspect -- what does freedom mean and are we indeed free?

Manto trailer, launched at the stroke of midnight on August 15, raises questions which are as pertinent today as they were 70 years ago. “Jab gulaam the, toh azaadi ka khwab dekhte the, Aur ab azaad hai, toh kaunsa khwab dekhenge (When we were enslaved, we would dream of independence, Now that we are free, what will we dream of?)” asks Siddiqui’s Manto at the beginning of the trailer, setting the tone as he refuses to give up his right to freedom of speech.

The trailer is unrelenting as it shows Manto’s struggle with censorship, especially after his work Thanda Gosht (Cold Meat) is released. The poet was tried six times for obscenity, primarily because he insisted on portraying the reality and showing a mirror to the society. The struggle is as relevant in India today, with this Siddiqui dialogue emphasizing the point, “Why can’t reality be shown as it is? My stories are a mirror for society to see itself.”

The director nails the feel of the era and Manto’s ethos. Siddiqui, dressed in a white kurta-pyjama and round glasses, becomes Manto in front of our eyes – both in look and spirit.

Manto has Rasika Duggal, Rishi Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Ila Arun and Rajshri Deshpande in important roles, with Javed Akhtar making his screen debut. It releases September 21.

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First Published: Aug 15, 2018 10:25 IST