I am ashamed to accept that even though urdu is my mother tongue, I have difficulty reading it. Though, I call myself a big reader. But yea, I read trash, not so trash, self help, biographies and romantic novels. But all in english. The only urdu I read is the books my six and a half year old gets from the library. That’s it. So, to me names like Israr Ahmed, Patras Bokhari, Bano Qudsia and the list goes on are just names. So, when Manto was launched and premiered, I really didnt know what the hulaboo was about. The reviews I read, spoke about fantastic acting, spectacular shots and how Mantos life was so superbly portrayed. There was one line in one particular review that made me go and pick up tickets for the next available show.
I should have used Dr google to do some research on manto before going to watch the movie. But as life has it, I just didnt get the time and of course I was sure that the movie would cover everything. I really didnt need to know who Manto was and what his life was all about.
One salty and caramel popcorn pack and diet 7up in hand I was ready to see what my facebook feed was going on and on about. But I was wrong. I had no idea how Manto would hit home with me. Manto is every good thing a movie has to offer. But it offers more. It asked me to slow down my pace and think about where medicine draws a line and magic steps in. Where normality and abnormality intercede. How differently an artists mind is molulded as compared to a non artist. The list is endless. I couldnt watch the last 20 minutes of the movie because my girls decided to get up and throw a tantrum. But the rest of the movie, I could feel my pulse racing, along with my thoughts. I could see myself in certain scenes. I could feel the pain in other scenes. Manto, didnt seem like a movie on the screen. It felt like a drama revolving around me. I came home losing sleep for the night. The movie might not have the same impact on everyone who watches it, but for me at this point in time it was food for thought, something to ponder about and base a few decisions on.
Please go watch Manto. It will restore your faith in Pakistani cinema.