The much-awaited biopic on Saadat Hassan Manto will release on September 11, 2015, it was announced at a bustling event.
It was a gathering of literary minds, assembled to witness the first look of Manto the Film, a biopic made on one of South Asia’s most controversial and brilliant writers, Saadat Hassan Manto. Held at the Neuplex Cinemas in Karachi, the event, hosted by GEO with Sarmad Sultan Khoosat (Director), Baber Javed (Producer) and Nadeem Shahid (Writer) was bustling with TV and literary personalities (many of whom make up the stellar cast) from Mohammad Hanif, Nimra Bucha and HM Naqvi to Sania Saeed, Marina Khan, Hina Bayat, Ali Sethi, Meesha Shafi and Savera Nadeem. The film was introduced by director Sarmad Khoosat, who not only tackles this extremely complex subject with sensitivity but also steps into Manto’s character in the film. Just after seeing the trailer one can establish that the man has done Manto justice.
A theatrical trailer of the film plus four powerful songs from its soundtrack were introduced to the audience, leaving everyone spellbound and in absolute awe. “It gave me goose bumps,” model turned actress Amna Ilyas said after the showing. The soundtrack included ‘Aah Ko Chahiye’ performed by Ali Sethi, ‘Kya Hoga’ by Ali Sethi and Zeb Bangash (written by Mohammad Hanif), ‘Mehram Dilaan Dey’ by Meesha Shafi and ‘Kaun Hai Yeh Gustakh’ by Javed Bashir. While ‘Kya Hoga’ is light hearted, the rest of the songs are incredibly intense, rebellious and almost dark, just like Manto’s stories.
Will the masses be able to relate to Manto the Film, one asked Mohammad Hanif at the event? “The masses will love it,” he said without a moment’s hesitation. And a film like Manto may be exactly what the masses need at a time when the film industry is rediscovering its identity. Many artists at the event – like Nadia Afgan and Savera Nadeem, felt that these days we were experiencing a “dumbing down” of cinema and a film like Manto would inject some much needed grey matter back into films. One has to say that by supporting thought provoking and controversial films like Khuda Kay Liye, Bol, Ramchand Pakistani, and now Moor and Manto, GEO films has created a very strong legacy for itself.