Wednesday February 20, 2019

Manjhi: A story of perseverance, love and exploitation

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By Priya Sankalp

Faith can move mountains and love can build bridges. These words were epitomized by a simple man of Mushar community which is notorious for eating mice in the remote parts of Bihar. Dashrath Manjhi was a laborer in the agrarian society of India which was on the verge of getting rid of its landlords and was all set to embrace the extremism of Naxalism which emerged to correct the harsh anomalies of the rural society.

nawazuddin-radhika-manjhi-7When we think about the real life of a dalit man who is struggling in the rough and dry terrains of Gehlaur, Gaya, there is not much romance in it. The melodrama of Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the reel life must be entirely missing from the real life of Dashrath Manjhi, who worked hard to meet both ends and suffered the oppressions of nature and men alike. But the love for his wife (who died due to lack of timely medical assistance) and his will to cross the ominous heights of the mountain made Dashrath different from thousands of other men.

Kudos to Ketan Mehta for choosing a subject which might be considered untouchable for the film fraternity. After all, it lacks the bollywood masala and the guarantee of reaching the elite crores club. Nawazzudin Siddiqi is setting a benchmark for the future generations through his acting. Tears look real in his eyes and the game of pillows brings the eroticism of a man.

Radhike Apte’s beauty sizzles throughout the movie. The grandeur of the mountains is well captured and the songs seem relevant. However, the movie could have been shortened in its length.

The mountain man’s story is that of grit and tenacity of a man who despite all the odds, walks to Delhi from Gaya along the railway tracks to meet the Prime minister. The hostile attitude of his fellow men and nature’s fury obstruct him, but he keeps hammering the stones. This takes him 22 years and finally, he carves out a road from the unrelenting mountains. Hearts soar high with Manjhi’s challenge to the gigantic rocks.

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The road excavated by Manjhi

This movie is a must watch despite its minor shortcomings because it does not bloat about the sweetness of saccharine, instead it gives the taste of jaggery mixed with a few grains of sand at a nondescript.

 

Next Story

Society Can’t Accept Negative Traits in Heroes, Says Nawazuddin Siddiqui

" I love doing challenging roles. With each film, I want to try something new. I hate doing roles in my comfort zone... I want to be a versatile actor. Now I look up to more new, different and challenging roles," he added

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Nawazuddin Plans To Start Farming NExt Month With His Brother. Flickr
Nawazuddin Plans To Start Farming NExt Month With His Brother. Flickr

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been praised for his portrayal of Bal Thackeray in “Thackeray”, but the movie, based on late Shiv Sena supremo who had a controversial political career, has been slammed by some critics for being biased. The critically acclaimed actor says Indian audiences do not like to see the protagonist in shades of grey and that if only the negative side of the protagonist is reflected on the big screen, this will severly impact the box office.

Addressing the critical reviews of the film, Nawazuddin told IANS in a telephonic interview: “For the past 40-50 years, we have been continuously presenting our heroes in a good light. The audience does not like to see the protagonist with grey shades. If I portray the only negative side of the protagonist, then it will not run at the box office.”

“Our society is not ready to see the negative traits in the heroes. My previous films ‘Manto’ and ‘Raman Raghav 2.0’ did not perform well. I tried my best to present the characters in those films without any polishing, but with lukewarm responses… I realised that our audience is not ready to see our heroes with negative characteristics.”

Keeping aside the critical reviews of “Thackeray”, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is “overwhelmed” to get his first biggest opening movie to date as a solo lead. The film registered over Rs 6 crore on Day 1 of its release (January 25).

“I am overwhelmed with the responses and love which I am receiving from people. I am thankful to all of them. With ‘Thackeray’, I got my first biggest opening as the solo lead role. I am honoured and blessed that I got an opportunity to play Balasahebji on screen.”

But the 44-year-old also said he does not like “giving much attention to box office collections”.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui Buys A Plot To Farm. Flickr
Majority of society in a time warp: Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Flickr

“Honestly speaking, I don’t pay much heed to a film’s collection and numbers. But it is a weird place, many people judge films on the basis of the collection, no matter what the content is.

“So many films have been made in our industry in which actors have performed well, but the film did not do well in terms of collections…and then they got declared as flops. And there are also so many films in which actors didn’t perform well but the film turned out to be the biggest hit just because it collected a good amount at the box office…weird. So, in such scenarios I also can’t totally overlook the box office collection of the films.”

Talking about the film’s success, Nawazuddin Siddiqui said that “Thackeray” has motivated him to keep doing “challenging roles” in future projects.

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“It feels good that when your work is appreciated and now ‘Thackeray’ is doing so well, it is inspiring me to keep pushing my limits and do more challenging roles on screen.

“I love doing challenging roles. With each film, I want to try something new. I hate doing roles in my comfort zone… I want to be a versatile actor. Now I look up to more new, different and challenging roles,” he added. (IANS)