Morality is a very interesting subject, in fact, most important than all others. We fear that the peace of society is at stake when morality is in question. And this fear is enlarged when the concerned subject is distant or it would be better to say indifferent to us. But isn’t morality simply a set of socially constructed rules that we use to help us get what we want? If we are not getting what we want, we change the rules. David Hume says that this is just as it should be. He also says the reason is, and ought only to be the slave of passion. Passions arise as they do, we feel what we feel, want what we want, and do what we can to get it. Let’s examine Aligarh, the film.
But Prof. Siras must not have contemplated this much. He was a very ordinary simple man who liked Lata Mangeshkar’s songs while having two or three drinks before going to sleep. He was a very emotional man, a poet too and very friendly and soft spoken. He dressed well and was a pretty handsome man. And I must add here he was a homosexual. Aligarh is the first film in which a homosexual character is presented as a real man, not a caricature, not something bizarre and laughable or loathsome. Kudos to that. Prof. Siras’ characterization is so real that at first instance it creates doubts because we in India are habituated to see homosexuals as some aliens from another planet. The Director, Hansal Mehta’s involvement and understanding of the subject is so deep that he has done a superb job. I salute him because you know with a highly controversial subject he has made such a beautiful film that has nothing to do with any controversy. It’s about love, trust me just love. The film itself has never raised any questions but has provided the audience a handful of them for introspections.
The man Prof. Siras is never apologetic or even shows any concern that he is doing something immoral considered by the society at large. Manoj Bajpayee, I have to search for words to praise him. His performance would be ranked among the best in Hindi Cinema till date. He is not acting here; he is living the life of Prof. Siras. I cannot imagine even Tom Hanks playing that character or I should say understanding that character as well as Manoj has done. Awards or no awards this one is truly world class.
Rajkumar Rao is naturally natural. Effortlessly flows with his character.
These are real people on screen. The makers, it may seem to some people, have projected it as a fight for the LGBT rights and 377, may be due to marketing reasons, but this is a film that you must watch with your family and trust me it will never make you uncomfortable anywhere. This is such a beautiful film about love and relations and Prof Siras that I can proudly say I have fallen in love with the man.