"The unspoken regard and understanding and solidarity for the challenges we have all had to face to be here was so powerful".
Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui is now enjoying his time at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival 2018 where he is attending the screening of Nandita Das's Manto, in which he plays the role of the acclaimed Urdu writer. This was Rasika's second time at the Cannes.
Inspired by the true story of a common man and his village, Nagdarwadi, situated in the drought prone Marathwada region of Maharashtra; the film is a beautifully woven tale of human struggle and true love and aims to drive home a key message, critical to the world we live in today. According to the makers, Manto follows the most tumultuous four years in the life of Manto and that of the two countries he inhabits - India and Pakistan.
The film's teaser was launched a day before the world premiere at Cannes, where Nandita stated, "The idea is to tell a story for audience". For youth, it is extremely inspirational to see someone like him.
Manto is written and directed by Nandita Das. It is based on the life of subcontinent's famed writer Saadat Hassan Manto who promoted freedom of speech and spoke of society's atrocities.
"Given the kind of respect that the Cannes film festival has, it helps create a better buzz for the film overseas and in India too", she adds. "I think it was a smooth ride for Nawazuddin to play this character. It's a very universal story". I don't think audience from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will not be able to relate with it, it's a very relatable story. It was my first time at the Palais de festivals red carpet at the Cannes film festival and I shared that moment with Salma Hayek, Patty Jenkins, Nandita Das and so many other women. "We are not offending anybody", she said.
Though the biopic opened to a packed house at Cannes, a release date for Manto has not been set as yet.