Thank you Hansal Mehta for giving us yet another film to cherish- 'Aligarh'.
Why cherish? Because it teaches us a simple lesson that LOVE cannot be defined in a few words like “Straight” or “Gay”. It is much more than just these words. Films like 'Aligarh' are to be felt and not just seen to understand this beautiful feeling.
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao
Director: Hansal Mehta
Producer: Eros International. Karma Pictures
Writer: Apurva Asrani
(Original story & research- Ishani Banerjee)
Claps: Brilliant performances, Story, Direction
What's New: A story of human rights told in a compelling and heart-touching way
Popcorn Refill: Interval
Plot: The film opens with a shot of a quiet winter morning in Aligarh Colony. We see a rickshaw-puller entering the scene with an aged man as his passenger. The rickshaw stops outside an apartment block. The man gets down and the rickshaw-puller too follows him suit in the building. Suddenly we see a few intruders entering the same house in that apartment. This is followed by commotion and voices of somebody being beaten.
The aged man turns out to be Professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras (Manoj Bajpayee) a Marathi professor at AMU, whose intimate moments with the rickshaw-puller are filmed in a sting operation. Immediately Siras is sacked from the university for 'gross misconduct'. This story catches the attention of a young budding journalist, Deepu Sebastian (Rajkummar Rao) who decides to dig the truth and find out what exactly happened that night. What follows next is how Siras and Deepu strike an unusual friendship and bond over poetry before the film reaches its touching climax.
Performances:‘Aligarh’ belongs to Manoj Bajpayee. He is such a delight to watch and lives and breathes as the 64 year old lonely professor who takes pride in being the only Marathi professor in the University and maintains his stand. No one else could have played Professor Siras with such a depth. Be it sorrow, humiliation or loneliness, the actor displays these emotions with such rawness and intensity that it hits you straight in the heart.
And then there is Rajkummar Rao- undoubtedly the best one amongst the new breed of actors; and ‘Aligarh’ is yet another film where he manages to stand out with an endearing performance. And how wonderfully do Rao and Bajpayee complement each other! The scenes featuring the duo together are an absolute delight to watch.
The supporting cast too has done a good job.
Direction: Accompanied by Apurva Asrani's crisp editing and Satya Rai Nagpal's striking cinematography, Hansal Mehta keeps 'Aligarh' natural, to the point and makes sure that you sympathize with Bajpayee’s character and leave the theatres with a heavy heart. The film has its funny, emotional and intense moments. It is not just a movie about gay rights, but a message that hope prevails even in the times of darkness.
If Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao's brilliant performances is the 'heart' of 'Aligarh' then Apurva Asrani's hard-hitting story and screenplay is its heart-beats! The writer has penned some memorable scenes that translate into sheer brilliance on the big screen with the actors' impressive play. Watch out for the sequence where a disgraced Siras is sitting in his dingy room with a drink in his hand and listening to Lata Mangeshkar's haunting 'Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha Pyaar Ke Kaabil Mujhe'! That moment is a complete show-stealer and the poetic silence tells a heart-wrenching tale of a man in solitude and lingering loneliness.
Karan Kulkarni's music blends well with the story.
Combo-on-offer: Drama+ Emotions
Verdict: We give 'Aligarh' THUNDEROUS CLAPS for its heart-warming performances and beautiful direction.