Aligarh – Movie Review
Posted by Atika Ahmad Farooqui on February 26, 2016 | No Comments
Director- Hansal Mehta, Producer – Sunil Lulla,
Writer and Editor – ApurvaAsrani, Music – Karan Kulkarni,
Cinematography – Satya Raj Nagpaul,
Cast – ManojBajai, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajkumar Rao
On the big screen, less Is more, Aligarh is a shining example Making a film on any legal case that is sub judice is not allowed by the courts and now we know why. A master director with the help of brilliant writers like Apurva M Asrani, can easily change your perception of an event even if it was once called a crime. That’s why director is more important than the cast. ‘Lets get one thing straight, I am not’, is a famous LGBT slogan.
Hansal Mehta’s film Aligarh with a stellar cast is a very touchy story of a wise and emotional man who sleeps with a rickshaw puller in his house out of sheer loneliness and does not know that he would be called ‘gay’. Conspiracy follows and he is forced to fight for his dignity; and this sweet man even sleeps and translates his poetry in court while the proceedings are on. A lonely, demure man, separated from his wife long ago, heading the linguistics department in an urdu speaking university, listening to Latamangeshkar and sipping on his whisky in lonely nights is the sketch of ShrinivasRamchandraSiras essayed by ManojBajpayee. Getting the marathi accent, body language of a 64 year old man who loves his poetry and has a problem with the labeling of love and emotions with jargon, all have been brilliantly mastered by Manoj. This acclaimed artist was looking for another landmark role like BhikhuMatre and he’s got it. He carries the film on his shoulders and you would not take your eyes off him . His scenes with Rao are a treat to watch and break your perceptions related to the criminality of being homosexual. He got his self respect back by winning the case against the administration but died just one day before he was to return to the campus makes this story a tragedy. Raj Kumar Rao at such a young age is already a national award winner and after citylights and Shahid, Hansal Mehta repeats him with full confidence.
Rao in the role of the young and dynamic DeepuSebastian who unearths the reality and politics behind the professor’s sting, gets his performance, Malyali accent and the consistency right. Watch the scene where he is made to sit in the bedroom by the professor and he is visibly uncomfortable knowing the man is gay. Also the climax where he learns about the death of the professer and hugs and consoles the weeping woman whom he was interviewing.
This film is a craft brilliantly delivered by HansalMehta, he does not take sides, become judgmental, fall into stereotypes and with minimal assets in the form of dialogues, locations, drama, music, delivers a subtle film as sweet as a poem by Oscar Wilde.