Weâ€™ve seen and loved her as Khirad (Humsafar), Falak (Shehr-e-Zaat), Shano (Sadqay Tumhare) and of course, more recently as Saba in Bin Roye. Mahira Khanâ€™s next appearance is not likely to be as conventional or feminine. In fact, it is quite simply unorthodox as she plays monkey, man and madari in Madari, one of Saadat Hassan Mantoâ€™s short stories featured as part of the upcoming Manto the Film. Madari is one of Mantoâ€™s most thought provoking stories, which confronts Darwinâ€™s theory of evolution.
â€œOf course it challenged me,â€ Mahira Khan spoke to me on the sets of Subh Ki Kahani, a new morning show launched on the channel Geo Kahani yesterday. Mahira and Sarmad Khoosat came in as the showâ€™s very first guests. â€œBut it challenged me NOT because Iâ€™m projected as feminine â€“ thatâ€™s not even something I think about. The challenge was to act with the monkey, like a monkey and then as the master of the monkey.â€
We wondered why Sarmad Khoosat cast her as a monkey and madari, moustache and all.
â€œI wanted to challenge her,â€ Sarmad Khoosat, whoâ€™s worked with Mahira quite a bit over the years, said. â€œBut itâ€™s not just unorthodox casting. Itâ€™s also a reflection of Mantoâ€™s genderless approach to characters.â€
Manto the Film releases on September 11, 2015 and will surely shake a lot of conventions out of the box. With Sarmad Khoosat in the title role and as director of the film, it is expected to reach ground breaking proportions when it comes to great story telling and progressive cinema. If youâ€™re intrigued as to Mahira Khanâ€™s role in the film, weâ€™ll just say that sheâ€™s an unforgettable characterâ€¦or two. Till you see the film, we recommend you brush up on your Manto literature!