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HELLO I'M HUSNAIN MINAWALA|WELCOME TO MY BLOG|Tech is my interest, lifestyle is my dedication and travel is my plan. |I'blog about all three as I look out at the Dubai skyline.

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Manto Movie Review: Upcose and Personal

It's a great feeling that Pakistani cinema has revived to such a great extent! Looking at showtimes packed with films made by local talent is truly a tremendous feat after decades of cinematic silence. Various genres of Pakistani films have been screened on cinemas such as drama, action, romance and comedy. Another genre to be added onto the list is perhaps: experimental/art.

Manto, directed by Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, is considered a biographical drama, but it definitely had an experimental aspect to the storytelling of this great author's life history. 
Image by gossip.pk


Before I provide my own opinion on the film, I would like to highlight review snippets given by various digital media outlets:

Gossip.pk: "Manto, perhaps will be the best release of the YEAR 2015 & slightly edges past MOOR by JAMI. Leading the way Sarmad Sultan Khoosat has done justice to his role and has played the character so well that after few minutes into the movie it gets hard to disengage from the plot."

Karachista: "Manto is very well written and manages to engage the audience from the first half down to the very last second."

BrandSynario: "Dark, intense, rich in context, bitter and thought-provoking; the much-hyped and much-awaited Manto welcomed the glitterati of Pakistan’s entertainment industry for its premiere in Karachi and Lahore."

Many media outlets have agreed that Manto has definitely raised the bar for cinematic storytelling. Its premiere was highly anticipated and many were quite moved by the portrayal of a notorious author who dared to write on taboo topics and succumbed to alcoholic demise. 

Manto was brought to life in the truest form. His stories were visualized with such beauty, it was hard to tear my gaze away from the screen. It did leave me with one thought: It could have been shorter.

Absolutely LOVED the cinematography and the visual cues of the film. Manto was a quite a complicated character and his life was even more complex. Being able to portray him on the big screen must have been quite challenging and yet Sarmad Khoosat did a splendid job! Manto's stories were visualized exactly how I imagined it would be. I have read some of the short stories that were depicted in the film and I got goosebumps. Each scene had meaning and each shot had depth behind it. I was able to tell that a lot of thought had been put into adapting each story for the cinematic narrative. Those who have read his stories can truly appreciate the visual art of Manto the movie.

After the intermission however, I felt that there was a huge build up of drama, vibrancy and melancholy but the latter of the film did not do justice to it. Manto was a complex man and the intermission could have been much shorter as the man's inner turmoil had been depicted very well already. Furthermore, the close shots had begun to make me uncomfortable. As the slang goes : all the shots were too much in my face.I had read in an online news outlet that Manto was initially made as a TV serial. All the episodes were then merged into a feature film, which is why there were so many close shots. Truthfully, I would have quite enjoyed watching it as a serial than a movie. There is so much more to Manto's life, it could have been explored more comprehensively in the serial. 

Nevertheless, Manto has become a benchmark for upcoming drama films. As many issues it faced, Manto definitely became the film of the year!

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