Pakistani actor criticises Siddharth Malhotra's Mission Majnu for its 'poor research': Surma, Tawiz, we don't wear skull caps...

In a new Instagram post, Pakistani actor Adnan Siddiqui discussed the’misrepresentation’ of Pakistanis in Bollywood films. After a section of the audience criticised Sidharth Malhotra’s Mission Majnu for stereotyping people from the other side of the border, Adnan shared his thoughts on the subject. Adnan, who co-starred in the Hindi film Mom with late actress Sridevi and Pakistani actor Sajal Ali, took to Instagram to criticise Mission Majnu, urging Bollywood to hire good researchers and do proper homework the next time.

‘There’s so much in Mission Majnu that’s distasteful and factually incorrect,’ says the actor. In the real-life-inspired film set in the 1970s, Sidharth Malhotra plays an Indian spy in Pakistan. Adnan captioned a representational photo of a person showing a thumbs-down sign, ” “How much misinformation is too much misinformation? Bollywood has the solution. I mean, yaar (friend), with all your money, hire some good researchers to do some research on us.”

Adnan slammed Mission Majnu over the look of the characters in the film, further writing, “Or allow me to help. Make sure to take notes — no, we don’t wear skull caps, surma (kohl), tawiz (an amulet or locket worn for good luck and protection, common in South Asia); no, we don’t ask janab (sir) about their mijaz (mood); no, we don’t go around throwing adaab (greeting in Urdu).”

The Pakistani actor further wrote, “There’s so much in Mission Majnu that’s distasteful and factually incorrect. The hero’s saviour complex would’ve accentuated more if the villain was shown at par. A weak antagonist embellishes even weaker protagonist. Poor story, poorer execution, poorest research. Next time, come and visit us. We are good hosts. Will show you how we look like, dress up and live.”

Since the trailer for Mission Majnu was released last year, some people have questioned the film for stereotyping Pakistani culture, with some even listing the factual errors and blunders shown in the trailer. Siddharth Malhotra recently addressed stereotyping of Pakistanis in Bollywood in an interview. When asked if his character in Mission Majnu contributes to the perpetuation of stereotypes of Pakistanis in Hindi films, the actor told Film Companion, “We have made a conscious effort in the writing that it is never to take on a specific community…”

On January 20, 2023, Netflix released Mission Majnu. Shantanu Bagchi directs the spy thriller, which also stars Rashmika Mandanna.

By Piya

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