Manjhi (2015)

Cast – Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Sneha Pallavi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Pankaj Tripathi

Director – Ketan Mehta

Writers – Ketan Mehta, Anjum Rajabali, Mahendra Jhakar, Varadraj Swami, Shahzad Ahemad

It’s a powerful and awe inspiring story of a less than ordinary man who performed an impossible task.

Knowing the story of Dashrath Manjhi, The Mountain Man, is one thing… but watching it being brought to life by a performer like Nawazuddin, is a different experience altogether. It simply leaves you revering Manjhi’s perseverance and passion.

Equalling appalling are the oppressive conditions of that era (caste prejudices, poverty, political hypocrisy) which did not improve years down the line.

The movie in terms of piece of work is no great guns. It seems well researched but has been glorified with romantic angle to make the project saleable. That does not however take away the message or the story that needs to be told… the story of sheer grit and will power.

The movie has no brilliance like some of Ketan Mehta’s many other movies but he has been able to justify the story. It does need courage to bring to life stories like this and keep them interesting and un-documentary like.

Add to this the brilliance of Nawazuddin’s performance. Good background score and music. Good performances by main leads.

But shameful are the facts that it took the government almost 30 years, after he completed carving out the way, to build a road (4 years after he died with an unfulfilled dream of a road being built)! So much so for the corruption, red tape-ism and political hypocrisy. Sometimes it depresses you so much to know that nothing has changed in so many pockets of the country even as on date.

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