The drama serial Surkh Chandni marks the very first time Mansha Pasha will be taking on a negative role. Along with the drama, the actress is also working on her upcoming film Laal Kabootar.
The serial Surkh Chandni brings a sensitive social issue under the spot light while addressing the rising number of acid attacks in the country. Pasha will be playing one of the main leads alongside Sohai Ali Abro and Osman Khalid Butt. Commenting on why she chose a negative role, Pasha said, “my character is somebody who causes an acid attack. It also sheds light on the fact that men and women can both equally be the reason behind the acid attacks. The reason I took up this particular project was because I haven’t done anything negative as such in my entire career and this wasn’t just a typical negative character. It has a lot of layers because initially she doesn’t actually intend for the incident to happen and she doesn’t foresee the snowball effect that takes place following her actions. Come to think of it the path to wrong doings is never really straight. It’s not as simple as someone is born bad. On the contrary, it’s very complicated. I believe it’s an endless series of choices of whether to safeguard yourself or to keep going on the right path. All these dimensions and the backstory is why I thought it would be a very interesting project to take up.”
While addressing the challenges of internalizing a negative role for the first time, Pasha says, “I think the overall drama has been so violent both emotionally and physically. The character has been challenging for me because getting into the mindset of such a person and understanding the motivation behind their action is tough. The biggest challenge perhaps is to be able to relate to and justify the character without condoning her because it takes an emotional toll on you. This drama has been very violent too so we’ve also gotten hurt physically at times because that’s the nature of the project.”
The narrative depicts the life of an acid attack victim and how she speaks up against this injustice. It also acknowledges and emphasizes the legislation of acid and burns crime bills. Talking about the need to address social issues sensitively, where negative roles are dealt with in the right manner, Pasha adds, “when picking up subjects that deal with social issues it is every important to ensure that the message does not get muddled. A lot of times directors are confused about how to portray certain characters. In the past, we have seen stories where the rapist has been highlighted and where the murderer is somebody you’re feeling really bad for or he’s coming across as the hero. Anti-hero and hero are two completely different things and this is where I think a lot of writers and directors get confused and negative roles end up being celebrated. That cannot happen. Negative is negative. You can share or reveal parts of the backstory of the character while shedding light to why they might have done what they did but at the end of the day a negative action shouldn’t be condoned,”
A Next Level Entertainment production, Surkh Chandni is directed by Shahid Shafaat and written by Asma Nabeel. Cast members include, Mansha Pasha, Sohai Ali Abro, Osman Khalid Butt, Asad Siddiqui, Lubna Aslam and Gul-e-Rana among others.