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42 user 31 critic

Aligarh (2015)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 26 February 2016 (India)
A gay, linguistic professor living in a small orthodox city must deal with the aftermath of a sting operation that puts his sexual orientation in front of the entire nation.

Director:

Hansal Mehta

Writers:

Apurva Asrani (story), Apurva Asrani (screenplay and dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Sukhesh Arora Sukhesh Arora ... Tahir Islam
Manoj Bajpayee ... Professor Siras
Balaji Gauri Balaji Gauri ... Nita Grewal
Sumit Gulati Sumit Gulati ... Tashi
Dilnaz Irani ... Namita
Sachin Parikh Sachin Parikh ... Anuj
K.R. Parmeshwar K.R. Parmeshwar ... Prof. Sridharan
Rajkummar Rao ... Deepu Sebastian
Naval Shukla Naval Shukla ... Prathmesh Sharma
Ishwak Singh Ishwak Singh ... Arvind Narayan
Nutan Surya Nutan Surya ... Anjali Gopalan
Divya Unny Divya Unny ... Reporter
Suman Vaidya Suman Vaidya ... Shadab Qureshi
Ashish Vidyarthi ... Anand Grover
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Storyline

Set in the state of Uttar Pradesh and based on true events, the plot revolves around Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras who taught Marathi at Aligarh Muslim University. He was sacked from his position of Reader and Chair of Modern Indian Languages, on charges of homosexuality. A sting operation was conducted by a TV channel which showed him in an embrace with a rickshaw puller, at his house inside the campus. Written by mishravikky68

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi

Release Date:

26 February 2016 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Алигарх See more »

Filming Locations:

Bareilly, India See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On January 31, 2016, a controversy broke out as the film's trailer was rated with an "A" certificate by India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which would allow the trailer to be screened on television only after 10 PM IST, citing that the film's theme and subject, which is related to homosexuality, is against India's culture, and kids and teenagers should not be allowed to view it. Film's director, Hansal Mehta took to social media and press to vent his anger, threatening that he will go to the Appellate Tribunal and appeal the adult rating of the trailer arguing that an "important subject like his film's should reach everyone (sic)." Pahlaj Nihalani, the Chairman of CBFC, ignored the threat saying that it was all publicity stunt. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sensitive portrayal..
13 December 2016 | by sushankonarSee all my reviews

For an average Indian the existence of the LGBT community is beyond the range of ordinary vision, until s/he is faced with the reality of a near and dear one having a different personal preference. The reactions, caused by sudden departure from emotional and logistic comfort zones, are usually extreme and seldom unbiased. In contrast, my contact with the community has been through an academic friend who one fine day simply declared that he had a different orientation. I think, most of us took this news without much of a shock because there weren't a lot at stake for any of us, personally. Moreover in academia, we habitually get thrown into contact with people from all over India (and beyond) with all kinds of variation of preferences ranging from minor to completely outlandish. A different physiological trait was just another of those natural variations that we, budding scientists, were not going to be really bothered with. In fact, the only consequence of his declaration was to generate a sense of embarrassed awkwardness among other male students about sharing a room with him on observatory trips. However, all this good humour was a reflection of us not being affected by his preferences or actions. The situations tend to be very different in the world outside the closeted community of (apparent) scientific rationality. Moreover, academia too could get downright vengeful and violently against such personal preferences (or use it to hurt a member of the community) when personal/professional advancements were at stake.

In fact, the attitude of academia is extremely relevant in the context of this story. The possible reasons why a professor of the Aligarh Muslim University was persecuted might have had more to do with other issues than his preference for intimate companions. The movie raises these relevant questions in a very matter of fact way, without over dramatisation, without directly pointing fingers or making obvious villains out of the people really responsible for the persecution. The portrayal of the sheer apathy of the system, the ignorance and resulting fear/hatred of the common people and the sense of doom and depression that the protagonist slowly descends into is heart-rending. Manoj Bajpayee is, of course, a classic case of criminally unexploited acting potential. His sensitive portrayal of a reclusive, almost shy professor of Sanskrit, caught in the eye of a totally unexpected storm, is decidedly the backbone of this story which would likely go a very long way in changing the outlook of an ordinary Indian about people who just happen to have a different physiology.


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