Aligarh (2016)

Cast – Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkumar Rao, Ashish Vidyarthi, Ishwak Singh

Director – Hansal Mehta

Writer – Apurva Asrani

Sometimes I just marvel… at the kind of passion film makers have, for picking up stories out of the piles of news items that get accumulated… and creating a humane story out of it, weaving it around one person, his personality, his struggle against ostracization, humiliation and how he clung to his self-respect. It also forces us to relook at the intolerance and hatred that’s stagnating humanity.

It’s a slow, thoughtful and a compelling real life story of the professor who had to fight it out against his suspension from the university because of his sexual orientation. He might have won the case and his job but lost it against life and our society that was far too harsh… and is harsh on so many like him.

Performance wise… It’s a once in a life time kind of a role for Manoj Bajpayee that he befittingly performs. He brings to life Professor Siras. We can’t help but feel compassionate for the man who had an endearing quality to him, with his gentleness, his love for his job and university, poetry and Lata Mangeshkar’s music.

He’s aptly supported by Rajkumar.

The story is well researched, well written and well executed.

Accolades for Director Hansal Mehta who has given award winning films earlier too. This one should get him another one probably. The gentleness with which he handles the story and the subject is appreciable.

This movie might not be for everyone’s palate but it touches the heart. It rightly brings to fore, the question of morality, it’s definition, social intolerance and lack of compassion for anyone or anything which is different or does not conform to pre-existing norms.

I would rate this 8 on 10.

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