wogma rating: Add to “To Watch” list, watch some day (?)
It is an important film. It is a courageous film even. The film does some things really well. But, it isn't necessarily an absorbing one.Read more
Aligarh looks like it is going to be one relentlessly serious film. For some reason, just watching the trailer makes me feel like my stomach is going to churn because of how unpleasant inhumanity is. Call me a masochist, but that is the exact reason, I feel like it will be a good movie. Yes! Looking forward to it, even if with a squirm. Just hope it doesn't come out as a 100% agenda-driven, “message” film.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Have you ever put your favorite music on, hummed along with it, and entered the world that the melodies have created for you? Have you swayed your fingers and tapped your feet to the rhythm? So does Prof. Siras. Prof. Siras is also gay. Why do you need to know that? How is it relevant? It is not. And that is the point that Aligarh tries to make. They are human and the differences between them and other humans are nothing to create hue and cry about. However, can you really not do that without doing it? Can you say something is not worth giving undue attention to without bringing attention to it? And that is a trap that Aligarh falls into. Why try so hard to keep away from something that all you can do is get drawn to it? In this case – not becoming a gay rights activism story.
Aligarh tries to be about 'gay professor suspended' with focus on the 'professor', the person rather than the 'gay' part. This by itself is commendable because thus far Hindi films have either turned homosexuality into mockery or taken it too seriously. Aligarh tries its best to let homosexuality just be. That itself is worth a few rounds of applause.
However then, you have the romantic pauses which stay long enough to become over-romanticised. Again, attention is drawn to them, almost as if saying, “if we don't say it, you will miss the subtlety.” Aah..the irony. Is it good because it is better than a joke being explained in a slapstick comedy?
This once Hansal Mehta adds a touch of humor and lightness to the subject too. The hookah-smoking 'aunty' and the quirkiness that she brings along. The energy that comes with Deepu (Rajkummar Rao). Almost as if in response to feedback – your films are too serious. I am joking. The fact that the youth can make a difference if they care enough while living their lives comes through clearly. This even for matters that aren't relevant to them directly.
Rajkummar Rao does brilliantly to bring this through too. His performance is almost taken for granted because of the meek and subdued character Manoj Bajpai plays with such elegance. You know the blushing, nervous, anxious, angry, lonely facets of boring Prof. Siras because - Manoj Bajpai.
Even so, the film becomes stagnant after a while. It is not because of lack of action, because the case is interesting. It is not because of the lingering pauses, because the pace is set from frame one and you know it is going to be a lot about silences. It is about some decisions that didn't quite work. For example, was it important to have brought out Deepu's sexual orientation? It is also about repetitions. Sure, the same sequence is shown with a little additional information. But, that extra isn't weighty enough to warrant a repetition making the film seem stagnant.
It is an important film. It is a courageous film even. The film does some things really well. But, it isn't necessarily an absorbing one.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...Proving the irony, its being reported that the film titled ALIGARH is not being shown in the city of Aligarh itself without having any official ban imposed by the authorities. So the scenario has yet not changed in 2016, which makes it even more important to watch the film at the earliest and think about the tragedy using your own logical deduction instead of the suggested ones. ... full review
Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, ALIGARH is a sensitive film which will touch your heart. However, due to its slow pace, it may appeal to a very niche segment of multiplex audiences. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Tushar P. Joshi, Bollywood Life : ...Aligarh needs to be watched. It is serious cinema and you need to be patient with the pace. But if you give into Mehta’s storytelling and let Siras charm you with his innocence then Aligarh will become an instant favourite. A film about human divinity and rights about anything else, Aligarh is high on my recommendation list. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...Aligarh has it loud and light moments, but it is more effective precisely because it does not shout and rant. Manoj Bajpayee’s performance is a master class in acting; even though Rao has a tough time keeping up, he plays the hyper-energetic young journalist with a lot of charm. The film is worth supporting, particularly because the times call for compassion and tolerance. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Mohit Patil, Desi Martini : ...The most refreshing thing about Aligarh is that even homosexuality figures as a key aspect of the film's themes, it never feels like an "issue-based" movie. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Ameet Bhuvan , Desi Martini : ...From the pitch perfect performances to the soulful use of Latas songs and background score, moody , blunt and unflinchingly honest, Aligarh is the best watch at the big screens in a long long time. Not to be missed.... full review
Thumbs up, by Aneela Zeb Babar, Desi Martini : ...The film is mellow, and Manoj Bajpayee's professor is reticent and inhibited and struggles with the new lexicon to old love. I loved this film and what Mehta has spun in 120 minutes is just plain magic. The melancholia of winter afternoons in Northern India, Rajkummar Rao's nervous energy, Bajpayee's Professor Siras shrinking into his shell just as the world is ardent to pull him in --we are truly blessed to be in the midst of something so wonderful. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sarita A Tanwar, DNA : ...The best part of the film is its utter commitment to Siras' story. We watched silently while an innocent man was victimised just because he was different from us, that's just one more reason to watch this film. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Aakriti Anand, Filmfare : ...Overall, the honesty and the haunting reality of the story are what make Aligarh such a compelling watch. Even in the disheartening end, Aligarh gives you hope that maybe, someday our society will be on the verge of coming out for good. ... full review
Thumbs up, Free Press Journal : ...It is a powerful human drama that probes the life and death of a victim of institutional whimsicality. And it does so exactly with the kind of non-judgemental approach that would like to see more of in the real world. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Seeta Kaushal, Hindustan Times : ...At a time when notions of morality and jingoism are obstructing the ideas of freedom, democracy and individualism, Aligarh is a must-watch. It’s a reminder that freedom of choice can never be less important, and that is what democracy is about. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Vivek, India Entertainment : ...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.... full review
Thumbs up, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...Like Shahid, Siras's fate was also tragic. He was found dead in his apartment, just a few days after he won the legal battle in Allahabad High Court and the day when the University sent a letter reinstating him. Apurva Asrani, screenwriter and also the editor, and Mehta deserve credit for reminding viewers of a forgotten, reluctant and wronged hero who happens to be gay. Their biggest accomplishment is that they have treated him with respect and sensitivity. Qualities we, as a nation, could all do with. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...Credit goes to Mehta and writer Apurva Asrani for etching out his character with such precision. Rajkummar Rao, who has successfully adapted the Malayali accent to suit journalist Sebastian’s role, lends good support. The admirable ease with which they relate to each other shows us the magic that can happen when two good actors come together on screen. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...So, in addition to being a portrayal of the gay experience in an unjust and insensitive society, Aligarh is a human drama with universal resonance. It encapsulates the plight of all dissenters. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...This sense of loss, is so beautifully shown by the actor throughout the movie that even those who are not comfortable around homosexual people (and it is a shame that such people exist) cannot not be moved. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...In Hindi cinema, where homosexuality is an object of derisive gags or caricature, the portrayal Aligarh offers is refreshing and respectful. But it’s much too multifaceted, at times for its own good, to be acknowledged for just that. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Watch the film to experience a story that is as searing as it is sensitive. Most crucially, the film ensures that the absurdity of a law criminalizing homosexuality hits home harder than ever. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...The film is a unique step forward in reality cinema in that it uses actual names of people and places involved in the real incident. But then it still has to put a disclaimer at the start. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ..."The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages", this remarkable quote by Virginia Woolf pretty much sums up the film. Aligarh stays with you much after you see it, especially for Bajpayee and his nuanced portrayal of a man brutally put to shame by an intrusive and insensitive society. It's subtlety, redefined. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Veejay Sai, Upper Stall : ...How ironic because Aligarh is, in fact, one of the most significant films ever made in India on the issues of human rights, democracy, law and identity. Don’t miss it. ... full review
So-So, by Anna MM Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Despite a sterling performance by Manoj Bajpayee and other positives, Aligarh ends up being an inconsistent biopic – on the one hand providing a beautiful portrait of reclusiveness, yet elsewhere doing a disservice to a man to whom this country owes an apology. ... full review
So-So, by Suparna Sharma, Deccan Chronicle : ...Aligarh is shot brilliantly. We see Siras through windows, mesh, grills, curtains, behind doors with paranoid locks and latches. Manoj Bajpayee, who is practically in every frame of the film, has a few moments when he is light and in character. In these brief scenes he shines and connects as a breathing, living man. Mostly, however, he’s deliberate, heavy and rather hammy. ... full review
So-So, by Mehul S Thakkar, Deccan Chronicle : ...Cinematography Satya Ray Nagpaul is commendable bringing out the real essence of the life of the professor the way he has shot it. Sound design by Mandar Kulkarni works keeping in mind the mood of the film. ... full review
vivekisms: I loved Aligarh the first time. Loved it more the second time round.
vijethbalila: Extraordinary disturbing injustice saga #Aligarh vry sad people still hav exclusion mindset twrds homosexuals! @mehtahansal @Apurvasrani
VeiNaz: #Aligarh is a must watch on watchlist !!! Brilliant cinema !
triptyshukla: अगर अब तक नहीं हैं तो #Aligarh देखकर तो आप डेफिनिटली @BajpayeeManoj के फैन हो जाएंगे।
theperegrinator: Absolutely loved #Aligarh. IMO a story so well told will change perceptions. Siras' life has been given a new purpose.
TheFakir_: #Aligarh is a must watch. Sometimes the system & society can make you feel very helpless. Can break your heart, but what about your spirit?
sushmini: #Aligarh @BajpayeeManoj grt work nice mvi heads off
surabhitripathy: Aligarh : A movie everyone should watch. It is such a beautiful movie. I could watch this movie again and still weep at the end of it.
subhrac33: Aligarh: da movie thru da fabulous act of @BajpayeeManoj &@RajkummarRao sent a very gd msg 2 dis society.Thnx 2 @mehtahansal &@Apurvasrani.
sub_maya_hai: Beyond homosexuality, #Aligarh is a powerful ode to our #RightToPrivacy ... impeccable acting and great #storytelling just make it better
souryadash: What an outstanding performance @BajpayeeManoj what a brave film @mehtahansal #Aligarh love in times of intolerance
SomyaSaxena: #Aligarh is a rare cinematic experience. Thank you @mehtahansal for creating this gem. What a wonderful portray of emotions.
SomeSanshine: A brilliant delivery by Manoj Bajpayee #Aligarh
Smit_Meister: What a beauty Aligarh is! Loved it. Such richness and depth. Brilliant! Congratulations @BajpayeeManoj @mehtahansal @RajkummarRao
smins11: Aligarh very well made why r ppl so biased with the gender
ShariqeSam: What a #performance #bajpayee_Manoj #superb #Movie #Aligarh #Hansalmehta #Keepitup
shailjasharma24: #Aligarh awesome movie. Brilliant performance by Manoj vajpayee.
ShahidzAnnie: Frst Shahid den Citylights and Now Aligarh. I so want Shahid to do a film wid Hansal Mehta. Plz jst dat movie will be a Magical Enchanter
shadesofmind: Watched #Aligarh. What a Spectacular Film. A must watch! Heart warming Performances by @BajpayeeManoj & @RajkummarRao. Bravo @mehtahansal
saumyabaijal: #Aligarh a film that is made with a good intent. Welcome back Manoj Bajpayee. @mehtahansal
SaumitraGhosh3: 'Aligarh' makes you empathise with human vulnerabilities. It is a classic..A must watch.hats off to #bajpayeemanoj #mehtahansal#.
SaranyaShekhar: ALIGARH... will make your heart wrench in pain...
sanjay_brkfree: #Aligarh will be most defining hindi cinema for picking up subject matter which has only been lampooned bfor @BajpayeeManoj pierces the soul
saby_hr: what a performance, felt in luv with you @BajpayeeManoj, kahan rehte ho sir poore saal bhar tak #comeout #Aligarh
rupesh_k01: Aligarh just saw it...wht a class movie @BajpayeeManoj u rocked man . al d bst fr #Aligarh @ErosNow
RTwalaa: RT ZubinaAhmad: BajpayeeManoj Once again, another so called पर्दा फाड़ performance. Loved the Aligarh. Manoj ji you truly rock.
rriddllerr: It will be so great if #Aligarh picks up over the weekend and becomes a hit.A good start for the Hindi film industry this year..
RJSIDDHARTH: The only thing that bothered me in Aligarh was the intermission. Much needed film. Bravo @mehtahansal I have to say "I'll have one more"
RJADITI: #Aligarh is my cup of tea (4/5) Pls Watch this Film - I Insist ! @BajpayeeManoj @mehtahansal @RajkummarRao @Apurvasrani
ridhimb: Just watch #Aligarh ! In a society that treats everyone's bedroom as their own this tale of loneliness& being stereotyped is a must watch.
randomcards: Urge you to watch Aligarh in the theatres. It is a topic that needs to discussed & debated for a more evolved society to emerge. #sec377
Ramkamal: Congratulations @BajpayeeManoj @mehtahansal @Apurvasrani @RajkummarRao for #Aligarh. #comeout #watchit
Rahulpriyani: Hansel Mehta yet again created magic wit his direction Manoj n Rajkumar acting is as pure as soul I urge to watch this #Aligarh the movie 4*
priyakshipandey: When hypocrisy,politics&morally judging people led a simple man into the cage of loneliness. Excellent performance by Manoj Sir.#Aligarh
pranjaleco: Shahid, Aligarh.. wah wah taj
playingar: #Aligarh extraordinary story @mehtahansal @RajkummarRao @BajpayeeManoj @ErosNow
piyushkrthakur: #Aligarh strength lies in the personality and psyche of Siras. @mehtahansal direction nd @BajpayeeManoj acting is excellent..
patlyaa: #Aligarh shines @RajkummarRao acting after shahid ... n @BajpayeeManoj as he always act superb in every role.
pamela_pam123: Go see #Aligarh the story is heartfelt & touching & Manoj Bajpai gave heart rendering performance , seriously its 2016 #Sec377 needs to go
Page3Artist: Bravo @BajpayeeManoj and @RajkummarRao for taking up a daring subject like #Aligarh and setting an example to the whole industry.
nprashant: #Aligarh must watch movie! @RajkummarRao @mehtahansal @BajpayeeManoj Thanks!
Neelateleven: Watched ALIGARH Directed By Hansal Mehta...... Loved Every Inch Of It...... A Must Watch.... I Strongly Recommend. ........
NakulnC789: #Aligarh Perfect "Storyline Performance Direction" 4/5 #RajkumarRao #HansalMehta #ManojBajpayee @RajkummarRao @mehtahansal @BajpayeeManoj
MMyfrnds: A very good film #Aligarh based on #Aligarh is banned in #Aligarh . #intolerance #amu @BajpayeeManoj @mehtahansal @AligarhTheFilm
manishtamancha: Watched #Aligarh .. A bit underwhelming than what i expected but still neverthless a MUST watch for its sheer honesty.. Simple yet Moving!!
mangeshashrit: The scenes where @BajpayeeManoj shies (hindi main sharmana) are the most adorable ones. :) #Aligarh
maneeshrathore5: A great effort by #Aligarh team and a class performance by @BajpayeeManoj and @mehtahansal excellent direction.
M_Sonnik: Kavita shabdo ke beech ki khamoshi mein hoti hai, har koi umr aur paristhiti ke hisaab se uska matlab nikalta hai #Aligarh stuck in my mind.
lipiks: Hw brilliant is to c the powerhouse performers in #Aligarh .. Full marks to @CastingChhabra
kunalnath18: Awesome performance from manoj wajpayee in Aligarh. Jeeya ho Bihar KE lala, once again u rocks
kritika15goyal: #Aligarh is not a 'just watch' movie.It's a story one needs to enter & feel. Respect @BajpayeeManoj @RajkummarRao @mehtahansal @Apurvasrani
kartiksri: Spell-binding performance with the trappings of warmth, love and agony, its hard to look away from him @BajpayeeManoj @mehtahansal #Aligarh
kanojia_aditya: The only change I saw since I left India A movie to talk abt something dat no one wants to talk about Lagta hai acche din aa gaye #Aligarh
joshiamitp: #Aligarh Best Performance By @BajpayeeManoj & @RajkummarRao
jha_siddhus94: #Aligarh 9.5/10 #IMDB ratings. Phenomenal
jacknjohnnie: Aligarh is a brave attempt to make a movie on homosexuality
ItsVineetSingh: #Aligarh is beautiful. Thnx 2 @mehtahansal 4 ts. OMG, wt a brilliant performance by @BajpayeeManoj भावात्मक
I_mKarankashyap: #Aligarh @mehtahansalफिल्म कहने का सलीका लाजवाब , @BajpayeeManoj किरदार बहुत खूब जिया @RajkummarRao एक बहाव जिसमे ठहराव है,ज़रूर देखे
HeerdeshS: Awesome movie Aligarh.....
Harshvssingh: #Aligarh movie is raw, real and dark which is a must watch. It shows the real side of the society which seems happy and good but not.
HarpreetMusic: #Aligarh is one of the finest movies. Manoj Bajpayee's performance will leave you spelbound. DON'T MISS IT GUYS, it's already out.
hamrahi: #Aligarh is an example of a gr8 cinema with brilliant direction @mehtahansal n terrific actors @BajpayeeManoj @RajkummarRao
GourabCR: 'The Story need to be told' #Aligarh is spectacular. First #Shahid and now #Aligarh @mehtahansal sir Hats Off! Keep motivating by good work.
georgemattam: 'Aligarh' was stirring. Bajpayee got into the skin of the framed prof. A good example of how morality can be subjective. Worth a watch.
dlbgsingh6: Watched @mehtahansal #Aligarh its mind blowing, really inspire my. Must watch .
DebotriG: Even if it is brilliant it deserves only a quarter of a page. May be the critique fell short of words. #Aligarh #AligarhReview
boat_of_bones: It's not a film about a gay man. It's about one man trying to face his loneliness with dignity. Go watch Aligarh. Seriously.
babauniverse: #Aligarh is already my fav movie of the year. Such an important issue that doesnt get enough attention unfortunately.
Ashi_C: #Aligarh beautiful and well acted movie.
AshalshRaina: A story that touches the mindsets of university culture, mindset, politics and media's different pov. @mehtahansal #Aligarh a joy to watch !
ANIKET210689: And in love with what this masterpiece is. #Aligarh, Manoj Bajpayee touches your heart, changes perceptions.
an602270: #Aligarh Movie Nyc story for real life.....
amtrips: #Aligarh A masterpiece. Must watch for Love knows no gender Cheers to @mehtahansal @BajpayeeManoj @RajkummarRao @AshishVid @ErosNow #comeout
amitcha94660125: #Aligarh is imprtnt film for india @BajpayeeManoj
ameya_naik: Hats off to @HansalMehtaFC. Strong performances by @BajpayeeManoj and rajkumar rao. #Aligarh makes a strong statement.
ambytweet: Spell-binding performance with the trappings of warmth, love and agony, its hard to look away from him @BajpayeeManoj @mehtahansal #Aligarh
amborish: We associate good acting with noise and thunder. @BajpayeeManoj shows how to use silences well #Aligarh
AiyushTaneja: If you didn't watch aligarh you're missing out on something epic, my mother was in tears at the end of movie . It deserves to go to oscars.
Aakash_Khiladi: #Aligarh "One Of The Best Movies I've seen till date" Bollywood needs more and more of content based movies!
Ishan_cg: Watched Aligarh. Brilliant acting by Manoj Vajpayee let down by direction . Could have been better .
all_awry: Saw #Aligarh today. Manoj Bajpai is impressive. Story is somewhat disappointingly classist though.
SoulfulNishant: कुछ बॉलीवुड के चमकारों को कोई टॉपिक ही नहीं मिलते, विषय की गहराई में न जाकर, फिजूल के मुद्दों को पेश करते हैं #Aligarh
RimaMehta: It's disheartening to see homosexuals end their lives due to disrespect.No one but @BajpayeeManoj could have portrayed it better in #Aligarh
Jumlebaaz: Matlab Aligarh jaise ilm key idaray mein Hansal Mehta ko siwaye ek Gay key kuch nahi dikha ...AndhaaGay ho kaa
drsinghraj: "Aligarh movie " please don't waste your time and money . One of most boring directionless , horrible . No words to express .
Ahadgilz: #Aligarh will make you question about the society we live in. We as a nation are heading no where with such a horrible mentality. Shame.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.