Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Photograph was not even scheduled for a Pakistan release!
He may have worked in Pakistani TV ads, he might have played a Pakistani journalist in Bajrangi Bhaijan and became popular through Sacred Games on this side of the border, but as they say, once an Indian, always an Indian. When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed Pakistan for an(other) attack that had no link to Pakistan, the over-eager Nawazuddin Siddiqui announced that ‘he doesn't want his film 'Photograph' to release in Pakistan, without realizing that the film wasn’t scheduled to be screened in the country.
After Ajay Devgn’s announcement where he said that he doesn’t want Total Dhamaal to be released in Pakistan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui followed suit because a) he is a Muslim actor and can’t survive in India without blaming Pakistan and b) he has a film Photograph releasing in India next month. By saying ‘I don’t want Photograph to release in Pakistan’, not only has he did his duty as a secondary Indian citizen but has also told PM Modi that he is on his side. But he forgot one thing – no cinema had mentioned that Photograph was releasing in Pakistan that too during the crowd favorite Pakistan Super League.
In Pakistan, distributors usually release films that are either high budgeted or feature a popular actor in the lead role. Nawazuddin Siddiqui might be a huge star in India but he isn’t that big a thing in Pakistan whose film would do well on the basis of his reputation. His last film as a leading man Freaky Ali didn’t do that well at the box office, and after that, films featuring him in the lead didn’t see the light of the day in Pakistan, including Manto. Let’s hope that his films do well in India because, at the moment, it seems that Pakistani audience might have seen the last of the Indian actor on their screens until he realizes that arts and sports are bigger than petty politics.