In the acutely thought-provoking Aligarh
, which is about a homosexual man’s right to privacy, Manoj Bajpayee
, playing the disgraced professor Srinivas Ramchandra Siras, sits alone in his dingy one-bedroom professor’s quarter, with a drink in hand and a Lata Mangeshkar
song by his side.
In the semi-darkness, in a room lit by dim hope, Srinivas listens to the Melody Queen
’s ‘Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha Pyaar Ke Qaabil Mujhe’, that timeless Madan Mohan
composition from the film Anpadh
. The song plays on a rickety portable sound machine. But its sound resonates across the professor’s silent universe, like a melodic meteor cutting through a sky of solitude.
It’s a life-defining moment. Director Hansal Mehta
holds the unflinchingly intimate camera (Satya Nagpaul
’s lensing is lucid, leisurely and lingering) with ruthless resilience on his protagonist Manoj Bajpai
’s face. For a good 5-7 minutes we see Bajpai