Manto – A Brilliant Movie
Saadat Hasan Manto aka “Manto” was not just a man but a mirror to the societal issues, happenings and diplomacy and at places mockery as well. Manto was that inner voice which no one ever wanted to listen to; he was the reflection which everyone tried to hide from others, to keep their personalities clean and spotless. For many, Manto was a riddle and for many he was eccentric. But who Manto actually was is a question that is still raised in the mind of many of his readers and followers. If you really want to know who and what MANTO was watch MANTO.
Manto is the tale of famous URDU writer who is not limited to Indo-Pak but also across the globe with highest number of translated publications. The mind which came up with countless ideas, characters, messages and tales on literally daily basis even after suffering from peer pressure, governmental bans and court cases can only be give one title i.e. genius. The movie revolves around Manto, his life, family, friends and his tales. How Manto was released from Mental Hospital and then again sent back to it is what Manto the film is all about. As Manto is based on reality, the story-line is as realistic as possible.
Performance wise, Sarmad Khoosat as Manto is remarkable, he gives a calculated performance. Thumbs up for not going overboard and not playing underdog! Manto is by far the best performance of Sarmad Khoosat – hands down. Sania Saeed is the most dependable actress right from the beginning of her career i.e. Sitara Aur Mehrunnisa. She is seen composed, calm, quiet and very natural in every single shot. Sabah Qamar as Noor-e-Jehaan is not as earnest as she could have been. One can spot that “she’s acting”.
Highlights of MANTO
There are 4 highlights of Manto The Film, which Pakistani cinema has not witnessed for ages.
Bold topics (not vulgar) were penned by Manto and this was one of the reasons why most tried to ban him. Showing eroticism on Pakistani screen is a baby in an incubator. Hats off to the entire team for writing, acting, executing and not crossing the line – that’s not a usual thing. “Mehrum” is a song which unleashes the sensuality with nothing but camera work. The title track of the movie is flawless.
It’s rare to watch a movie that is backed with script that radiates beauty of a language; Manto secretes the beauty of Urdu. For those, who love Urdu language, will definitely love every other dialogue and phrase from the movie. Music of Manto is apt. No more, no less. The music supports the lyrics and vocals – big time.
Emotional outbursts and finest detailing of expressions is vaguely seen in movies these days. Manto offers both in abundance. It’s a movie with power packed emotional scenes including gestures, looks and most definitely dialogues.
It’s hard to recall any Pakistani movie which showcased multiple tales in one story, Manto’s flawlessness lies in smartly sprinkling different tales from Manto’s pen. Stories like Tooba Tek Singh, Hattuk, Thanda Gosht, Ooper Neechay Aur Darmiaan and Khol Do are efficiently woven in the main script. This deserves applauding.
The only places where Manto could have scored well include the missing aura of filmmaking. There’s nothing grand about Manto in terms of picturization. The other thing is, the movie could be chopped a little more like 10 – 15 minutes.
Manto is by far the most authentic, genuine, impressive and faultless movie which Pakistan has produced. Those who support revival of Pakistani Cinema, Manto will be a treat for you.