We’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 Khan’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 Manto’s short stories featured as part of the upcoming Manto the Film. Madari is one of Manto’s most thought provoking stories, which confronts Darwin’s theory of evolution.
“Of course it challenged me,” 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 show’s very first guests. “But it challenged me NOT because I’m projected as feminine – that’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.”
We wondered why Sarmad Khoosat cast her as a monkey and madari, moustache and all.
“I wanted to challenge her,” Sarmad Khoosat, who’s worked with Mahira quite a bit over the years, said. “But it’s not just unorthodox casting. It’s also a reflection of Manto’s genderless approach to characters.”
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 you’re intrigued as to Mahira Khan’s role in the film, we’ll just say that she’s an unforgettable character…or two. Till you see the film, we recommend you brush up on your Manto literature!