Thursday, 12 July 2018

Aligarh (2015)

When it comes to Indian film, I trust Sid and watch anything he suggests me. And I do it with quite high expectations as he has a pretty good taste in movies which has occasionally left me disappointed. Aligarh doesn't fall into that category as it is a pretty good and powerful drama. 

The story revolves around Dr. Shrinivas Ramschandra Siras (Manoj Bajpayee), a professor of Marathi (it is one of the many languages spoken in India) at Aligarh Muslim Univerisity who was suspended from his job and harassed because of his sexual orientation, and follows Deepu (Rajkummar Rao), a young and ambitious journalist who takes interest in Siras's case, as he tries to bring out to light the real story. 

The film is based on a true story --I don't know anything about it as I'm not from India so I don't know how accurate this biopic is-- but Aligarh sure is more than just a biopic. It is a sad but important story about loneliness, but not any type of loneliness but that brought on by a feeling of shame and guilt, a feeling that is not supposed to be there in the first place. It is a story about love, the desire of it and the impossibility of loving. A story of hope. But most of all, it is a story about not gay but humans right. 

The characters, on the other hand, I felt like they could use a little bit more depth. That said, Siras still is a character you will immediately sympathize with and the credits entirely go to Manoj Bajpayee as his performance alone make the film worth watching. He brings so much authenticity to the character, delivering through his eyes an array of emotions and conveying the pain of someone who is not accepted in society beautifully. There are some scenes in which he reads poetry or sings in Marathi that are just wonderful. 

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While Bajpayee drives the film and will very likely move you, Rajkummar Rao provides Bajpayee with a good support. His performance isn't as compelling but he still manages to give a natural performance as the pushy reporter who befriends Siras. Also, the relationship between Siras and Deepu is quite beautiful.  

At last, Aligarh also features a very fitting musical score and a cinematography that is both simple and powerful. The slow pace though kinda makes it hard to watch at times.

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