Aligarh, as pointed and poignant a portrait of loneliness as any that Indian cinema has ever produced, is unwaveringly true to that dictum. Mehta's treatment of an emotive theme is sensitive and sedate; the film's impact is searing. Aligarh is a human drama with universal resonance. It encapsulates the plight of all dissenters.
ALIGARH boasts of a wonderful and heartfelt screenplay Apurva Asrani (who has also written the story). One has to give it to him for handling an extremely sensitive topic in the most sensible manner. The film sees the no holds barred directorial prowess of Hansal Mehta, who has handled the film in an extremely skilful manner. 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.
Aligarh is an important film, and it's powered by sensitive writing, nuanced direction, and masterful performances from its central players. Crucially though, the tragic climax never pierces you in the manner that it ought to. The emotional wallop is missing. Mehta eschews melodrama throughout the film, but in blunting this key moment in Siras' story, the filmmakers deny the viewer a chance to bring one's feelings to a boil. Sometimes a good cry is a way of saying I care.
The pace is unhurried, the background score is minimal, and Aligarh’s mood is often dry or distant. And that’s why the fleeting comedy around Rao’s landlady appears like scenes from another movie. 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.
Some films cease to be a story or a mere depiction of an incident or an issue. You live them. They mirror the society's mindset and in doing so, rake out your own prejudices. Aligarh is one such biographical drama that tugs at your heartstrings. While it is melancholic, the film doesn't resort to melodrama to evoke empathy. Aligarh's heart lies in the beauty of its silences and the unspoken words and unrushed emotions shared between its lead characters.