Aligarh was awaited by critics pan India since its announcement. The fact that it is directed by Hansal Mehta and stars critic favorite Manoj Bajpai and Rajkumar Rao in primary roles are a bonus for the movie in itself. The subject matter of the movie is pretty sensitive and is dealt with care.
Aligarh is a story about a professor of Marathi language in Aligarh University, SR Siras (Bajpai) who is caught indulging in a private act with a male friend, by two men calling themselves journalists. As a result, he is suspended from the university and is protested extensively.The story follows him in his quest for justice and acceptance in his own society.
Manoj Bajpayee is the soul of Aligarh. Perhaps no one could have lived Prof. Siras like Manoj did. He held the slight Marathi accent with complete ease. The moments where he is alone in the frame listening to Lata Mangeshkar’s songs are the best parts of the movie. Also, not to forget, him sleeping in the courtroom where his lawyer(Ashish) is busy fighting for his rights.
Rajkumar Rao also played his part up to his name and shows his comfort level with director Hansal Mehta.
Ishani Banerjee’s story and Apurva Asrani’s screenplay are pure brilliance. Detailed moments show the potential of the writing. For instance, there is a scene where Siras returns his home and locks up each door and window and firmly places a chair to block the door further and sits on it. It shows his fear brilliantly.
However, a scene with Rajkumar Rao’s character drinking with a colleague seemed unnecessary at a high point of the narrative.
When a lot of high-quality cooks are busy making a dish, it can easily spoil the cake. Here is where Hansal Mehta steps in as the director to channel each and every cook to their full potential. He shows again why his name is taken with respect in his niche.Every frame in the movie looks like a masterclass of movie making.
A bad editing can make a good movie look crass. Luckily the editing of the movie is its next big asset. Each and every cut was executed with sheer perfection. Except the interval, it was really abrupt.
Aligarh is definitely not a movie that you will watch repeatedly. But watching it once will leave its impact on you. Watch it at least once for the mind-blowing performance by Manoj Bajpayee and top class direction by Hansal Mehta.
What do you think? Do you agree with our review? What movie are you planning to watch this weekend? Head down to the comments section and let us know.