Aligarh Reviews

  • Oct 12, 2019

    Such a powerful movie!

    Such a powerful movie!

  • Jan 12, 2017

    The best of films are always those that inspire discourse on multiple levels. To borrow an analogy from farmyard parlance, it is how one ideally separates cinematic wheat from chaff. The story of Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a Marathi professor at Aligarh Muslim University who was largely ostracized by society on account of his sexual inclinations is heart-rending and one that has largely tragic undertones. Few laws have provoked as fervent and passionate a debate as that on Section 377 of the IPC and its relevance in contemporary Indian society. Director Hansal Mehta, the brain behind 2013's smashing Shahid, outdoes himself this time. He tackles this controversial subject with great grace and subtlety, making for a wholesome cinematic experience that ever so inconspicuously tugs at your heartstrings. The acting is uniformly excellent across the board - Manoj Bajpai's riveting performance as Siras lends a hauntingly human dimension to a character who remains tragically misunderstood even to this day. As a young, enthusiastic reporter eager to cast the spotlight on what he describes as an eminently "human story", Rajkumar Yadav is yet again first rate, making you root for him to do anything - just anything - to improve our doomed protagonist's state of affairs. The film could have done with a crisper screenplay -there are portions that would have benefited from a greater sense of urgency in narrative terms. Yet Mehta's storytelling is so compassionate, so innately empathetic that I couldn't help but be charmed. Aligarh is a film with a big, beating heart. I strongly recommend you see it.

    The best of films are always those that inspire discourse on multiple levels. To borrow an analogy from farmyard parlance, it is how one ideally separates cinematic wheat from chaff. The story of Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a Marathi professor at Aligarh Muslim University who was largely ostracized by society on account of his sexual inclinations is heart-rending and one that has largely tragic undertones. Few laws have provoked as fervent and passionate a debate as that on Section 377 of the IPC and its relevance in contemporary Indian society. Director Hansal Mehta, the brain behind 2013's smashing Shahid, outdoes himself this time. He tackles this controversial subject with great grace and subtlety, making for a wholesome cinematic experience that ever so inconspicuously tugs at your heartstrings. The acting is uniformly excellent across the board - Manoj Bajpai's riveting performance as Siras lends a hauntingly human dimension to a character who remains tragically misunderstood even to this day. As a young, enthusiastic reporter eager to cast the spotlight on what he describes as an eminently "human story", Rajkumar Yadav is yet again first rate, making you root for him to do anything - just anything - to improve our doomed protagonist's state of affairs. The film could have done with a crisper screenplay -there are portions that would have benefited from a greater sense of urgency in narrative terms. Yet Mehta's storytelling is so compassionate, so innately empathetic that I couldn't help but be charmed. Aligarh is a film with a big, beating heart. I strongly recommend you see it.

  • Sep 11, 2016

    Manoj Versatile Bajpayee. Top Notch performance.

    Manoj Versatile Bajpayee. Top Notch performance.

  • May 25, 2016

    'Aligarh' is probably the best film to come out of Bollywood in recent times. Manoj Bajpayee's restrained performance is laudable. Rajkummar Rao shone in the role of a journalist. The screenplay by Apurva Asrani keeps the viewer engaged although the movie is touted as a slow-drama. Hansal Mehta deserves a special applause for churning out one good film after another. It is high time Bollywood realizes that they are better off making brilliant biopics rather than awfully rehashing South Indian masala flicks.

    'Aligarh' is probably the best film to come out of Bollywood in recent times. Manoj Bajpayee's restrained performance is laudable. Rajkummar Rao shone in the role of a journalist. The screenplay by Apurva Asrani keeps the viewer engaged although the movie is touted as a slow-drama. Hansal Mehta deserves a special applause for churning out one good film after another. It is high time Bollywood realizes that they are better off making brilliant biopics rather than awfully rehashing South Indian masala flicks.

  • May 25, 2016

    Very well made movie. The shorty itself is very good and powerful. The direction and editing is very good. Fabulous performances by Manoj Bajpai and the rest of the cast. A must watch. Was good to see a Hindi movie made so well especially on a controversial topic in India .

    Very well made movie. The shorty itself is very good and powerful. The direction and editing is very good. Fabulous performances by Manoj Bajpai and the rest of the cast. A must watch. Was good to see a Hindi movie made so well especially on a controversial topic in India .

  • May 12, 2016

    This movie leaves a deep impression on a viewer's mind. A very strong performance by Manoj Bajpayee backed by an equally good potrayal by other characters and such a good storyline is all I ask from every other bollywood filmmaker.

    This movie leaves a deep impression on a viewer's mind. A very strong performance by Manoj Bajpayee backed by an equally good potrayal by other characters and such a good storyline is all I ask from every other bollywood filmmaker.

  • Apr 28, 2016

    Oscillates between being very cogent and emotionally appealing. Nevertheless, does both with aplomb. Watch it for Manoj Bajpayee's impeccable and moving performance as the only Marathi professor in Aligarh University. His hesitant smile, emotional fragility and haunting eyes are bound to leave one mesmerized.

    Oscillates between being very cogent and emotionally appealing. Nevertheless, does both with aplomb. Watch it for Manoj Bajpayee's impeccable and moving performance as the only Marathi professor in Aligarh University. His hesitant smile, emotional fragility and haunting eyes are bound to leave one mesmerized.

  • Feb 28, 2016

    Sensitive portrayal - not just of the repercussions of homophobia in Indian society, but also contemporary issues of privacy, dignity, minorities, aging and loneliness. Manoj Bajpai's portrayal of the professor will make your heart ache - he is gentle, bewildered, alone and so honest - it wrenches your heart. The storyline becomes a little lost towards the end, almost like the director shies away from making the movie too hard hitting - which is a pity, because it leaves the spectator feeling almost cheated of a strong finish.

    Sensitive portrayal - not just of the repercussions of homophobia in Indian society, but also contemporary issues of privacy, dignity, minorities, aging and loneliness. Manoj Bajpai's portrayal of the professor will make your heart ache - he is gentle, bewildered, alone and so honest - it wrenches your heart. The storyline becomes a little lost towards the end, almost like the director shies away from making the movie too hard hitting - which is a pity, because it leaves the spectator feeling almost cheated of a strong finish.