Manjhi – The Mountain Man is a 2015 Indian Hindi-language biographical film based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi. Manjhi, widely known as the “Mountain Man”, was a poor labourer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India, who carved a path 9.1 metres (30 ft) wide and 110 metres (360 ft) long through a hill 7.6 metres (25 ft) high, using only a hammer and chisel. The film is directed by Ketan Mehta, jointly produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and NFDC India. Upon release the film received positive critical acclaim.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui enacted the role of Dashrath Manjhi, while Radhika Apte played Manjhi’s wife. The film was released worldwide on 21 August 2015. Prior to its release preview copy of movie leaked on web on 10 August 2015. The Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) cyber police station had registered a case against few accused for leaking the movie. The Bihar State Government declared the film tax-free on 30 July 2015.
In the 1960s Dashrath Manjhi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) lived in a small village Gehlaur near Gaya, Bihar, India with his family including his wife Phaguniya Devi (Radhika Apte) and his son. There was a rocky mountain near his village that people either had to climb across or travel round to gain access to medical care at the nearest town Wazirganj. One day Manjhi’s wife (when pregnant) fell while trying to cross the mountain and eventually died giving birth to a girl, after which Manjhi decided to carve a road through it. When he started hammering the hill people called him a lunatic but that only steeled his resolve further. After 22 years of back-breaking labour, Manjhi carved a path 360 feet long, 25 feet deep in places and 30 feet wide.
Manjhi died in 2007. The film’s postscript states that 52 years after he started breaking the mountain, 30 years after he finished and 4 years after his death the government finally made a metalled road to Gehlaur in 2011. He fought with the Indian government for the development of their village and for the availability of hospitals and road.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Dashrath Manjhi
Radhika Apte as Phaguniya-Dashrath’s wife
Tigmanshu Dhulia as Mukhiya (landlord)
Pankaj Tripathi as Ruab (the landlord’s son)
Gaurav Dwivedi as Alok Jha (a journalist)
Urmila Mahanta as Lauki
Ashraful Haque as Magru-Dashrath’s father
Jagat Rawat as Shuklaji
Varadraj Swami as Gopal’s Father
Deepa Sahi as Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Prashant Narayanan as Jhumru
Rashaana Shah as Bhanwari