Runtime: 1 hour 32 minutes
Genre: Historical Drama
Director: Rahat Kazmi
Lead Cast: Raghuvir Yadav, Virendra Saxena, Rahat Kazmi, Sonal Sehgal
Reviewed by: Nandini Roy
Sadat Hasan Manto, is one of the greatest short story writer as well as the most controversial, writers belonging to Lahore, Pakistan. His stories, originally written in Urdu, are simply narrated, having an essence of lyricism, metaphors and deep insight into human nature. The movie explicitly accentuates the riots, which preceded the partition in the Punjab Province, between 200,000 and 2,000,000 people were killed in the retributive genocide between the religions, estimates 14 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were displaced during the partition; it was the largest mass migration in human history.
‘MANTOSTAAN’ is based on burning stories of Partition by Manto Rahat Kazmi the Director of acclaimed film ‘IDENTITY CARD’ has recently completed MANTOSTAAN; a dark satire based on four burning and the most controversial short stories. In the movie, these short stories are complied together and are shown at different timings. Each story has the uniqueness and are distinct and memorable. Khol DO, Thanda Ghosht, Assignment and Aakhri Salute are the four short stories on which the film is made.
Sonal Sehgal has played the character of Kulwant Kaur from Thanda Ghost, which is one of the stories in the film. Sonal’s character is very dark and disturbing. Raghubir Yadav, Shoib Kazmi, Virendra Saxena, Tariq Khan, Raina Bassnet, Sakshi bhatt and Rahat Kazmi himself have played key characters in the film. Mantostaan depicts the tragedy which was filled with brutality that partition brought in its wake. The stories of ‘Mantostan’ are about the single-minded dedication with which men killed men, the remorse felt by some and the tears shed by murderers.
The major drawback of this movie is that of its editing which acts as a hindrance to the continuity of the entire movie and as a result, movie loses its charm and hence, becomes quite confusing for the audience to spot which story is saying what. Movie seems to lose its essence and plot which makes it look ambiguous, as climax sequence doesn’t really conclude either of the four stories, the right way. The story is amazing but somewhere its execution has failed to do the justice to Manto’s one of the best stories, which were widely read and were entitled as the bestsellers.
performances are of a mediocre level, though some of the actors have acted brilliantly and their acting looks quite real. Movie has only one song over all, its a slow track. Movie excellently captures the daily mundane things and nuances amazingly well. Mastostaan has had an amazing journey from Film festival to Cannes, now since the team has decided to release Mantostaan commercially, we will now have to wait, to see how well it does at the box office.