Is Nawazuddin Siddiqui doing too much work? His last two films Munna Michael and now Babumoshai Bandookbaaz have been terribly received by critics and audiences alike.Add to the list an awful cameo in a Jackie Bhagnani shortfilm entitled Carbon, and that’s three down for Nawaz.
Not that Nawaz is apologetic. “Hota hai. Ups and downs are part of every actor’s career.I chose what I instinctively think to be the right .Sometimes I am right in my choices,sometimes I fail.”
It’s the Sadat Haasan Manto bio-pic directed by Nandita Das that now challenges Nawaz like no other. “I don’t think I’ve been so consumed by any other role in my life. Main Manto Saab ke zehan mein ghusgaya hoon(I’ve entered Manto’s soul)”
Nawaz has set extremely high goals for himself in Manto. “I want this film to be remembered the way Attenborough’s Gandhi and Shekhar Kapoor’s Bandit Queen are remembered to this day.With my Manto I want to attain the same level of excellence as Ben Kingsley in Gandhi and Seema Biswas in Bandit Queen.While watching these films audiences forget the actor who is playing these parts. I want the same to happen when audiences watch Manto.”
Interestingly Nawaz has already made a short film on Manto with Nandita Das. “Yes, we shot that for the India Today conclave. When Nandita was supposed to a short-film we thought, why not Manto? So we now have a glimpse into Manto’s life captured in that short-film.Watching the short film everyone has an inkling into what we intend to do in the feature film.”