Nawazuddin Siddiqui to be cast as ‘Manto’

WEB DESK: Indian remake of the super hit ‘Manto’ is underway and is leaded by none other than Nandita Das. She officially announced this in the 69th Cannes Film Festival.

“I have Nawazuddin in mind from the very outset,” says Nandita Das , who is in Cannes to freeze plans for the shoot expected to take place in Mumbai and Lahore around the end of the year.

“But in India, economics always interferes with art and there was pressure on me to cast a more mainstream star,” she adds. “But I absolutely need the kind of nuances and depth that only Nawazuddin can deliver.”

Das says that her ‘Manto’ is neither a big Bollywood film nor a small independent film. “We have to recreate Mumbai and Lahore of the 1950s and that demands a certain budget,” she says.

“It’s not a cradle-to-grave biopic but a drama celebrating the life and work of a writer who was a natural rebel, a man who went against the tide without being a conscious activist,” she explains. The film will cover a period of seven years between 1946 and 1952, which was an important phase in the history of the subcontinent,” says Das. “Manto’s simple yet profound narratives are today as relevant as ever,” says Das.

“That is what draws me to him. He talks about everything I care for – freedom of expression, the question of identities thrust upon us, about wedges being driven between groups.

” Her film on Manto , says Das, “is an intimate retelling of the times, seen through the eyes of this intensely engaged writer. I am certain it will resonate with audiences around the world.”