Aligarh (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Theatrical release poster
Directed byHansal Mehta
Produced bySunil Lulla
Shailesh R Singh
Sandip Ssingh
Written byApurva Asrani
Screenplay byApurva Asrani
Story byApurva Asrani
Ishani Banerjee
StarringManoj Bajpayee
Rajkummar Rao
Ashish Vidyarthi
Music byKaran Kulkarni
CinematographySatya Rai Nagpaul
Edited byApurva Asrani
Eros Entertainment
Karma Pictures
Release date
  • 4 October 2015 (2015-10-04) (Busan)[1]
  • 26 February 2016 (2016-02-26) (India)
Running time
114 minutes
Budget₹11 crore
Box office₹4.27 crore

Aligarh is a 2015 Indian biographical drama film directed by Hansal Mehta and written by Apurva Asrani. It stars Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao in the lead roles.

The film had its world premiere at the 20th Busan International Film Festival, receiving a standing ovation. The film was released worldwide on 26 February 2016 to critical acclaim.[2][3][4][5] Bajpayee won critical acclaim and a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Ramchandra Siras.


Set in the city of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, it is the true story of Ramchandra Siras, a professor of Marathi and the head of the Classical Modern Indian Languages Faculty at the famed Aligarh Muslim University, who was suspended on grounds of morality. He was also sacked from his position of Reader and Chair of Modern Indian Languages. The film starts at the moment when the professor's privacy is invaded by a film crew from a local TV station who forcibly enter his house and film him having sex with a male rickshaw-puller.[6] Siras is forced to leave his housing at the university, and is suspended from his job. He is contacted by a journalist who is sympathetic to him, and his case is taken up in court. The court rules in his favour and Siras' suspension is revoked, but before he can return to work, he is found dead.



The film was shot in various parts of Uttar Pradesh including Aligarh, Gorakhpur, Agra, Bareilly and Greater Noida (C-Block; Sector – Gamma 1). Wherein Greater Noida a small indoor sequence was shot for 3–4 days by Rajkumar Rao.[7]


Aligarh had its European première at the 59th BFI London Film Festival on 10 October 2015.[8] The response was generally superlative and the film garnered excellent reviews. Screen International in its review called it a "A subtle, sensitive take on a controversial real-life court case involving the victimization of a gay college professor, Aligarh underscores the growing strength and diversity of Indian independent cinema".[9]

The British Film Institute, in its 'Whats On' review of Aligarh called it "Probably the best film yet on the Indian gay male experience, Hansal Mehta directs a riveting and nuanced tale that is as touching as it is powerful."[10] Aligarh had its India première in Mumbai at the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival on 30 October 2015.[11] It also has the honour of being the only Indian film to open the festival since its inception. The response was once again overwhelming. Meenakshi Shedde, South Asia Consultant to the Berlin Film Festival and award-winning critic, had this to say about in her Mid-Day review: "Aligarh is masterfully directed: it is that rare film that courageously stands for human rights, including those of homosexuals, yet offers a quiet, distilled perspective."[12] Columnist Aseem Chhabra in his review said "Aligarh is a very important film, a milestone in the history of Indian cinema that should start the much needed conversation about how India treats a visible and yet often ignored minority group."[13]

Gay rights activist and editor of Bombay Dost magazine, Ashok Row Kavi, in his review called Aligarh "a masterpiece of cinematic skills" and went on to say "What Mehta and writer Apurva Asrani have done is pluck out a commonplace professor in a commonplace university and weave a true life story into a tapestry of terrifying, compelling drama."[14] Indian Express gave 3.5 rating out of 5.[2]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2016 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards Best Actor Manoj Bajpayee Won [15][16]
2017 62nd Filmfare Awards Best Actor (Critics) Won [17][18]
Best Supporting Actor Rajkumar Rao Nominated
18th IIFA Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated

See also[edit]

  • Philadelphia, a film about a gay man being terminated from his law firm and his fight for compensation


  1. ^ Hansal MEHTA (8 August 2009). "BIFF.KRㅣ6–15 October, 2016". Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Aligarh movie review: Manoj Bajpayee gives a brilliant performance, quiet and affecting". The Indian Express. 26 February 2016.
  3. ^ Namrata Joshi. "Aligarh: An autumn of loneliness". The Hindu.
  4. ^ "Aligarh 2016 Movie News, Wallpapers, Songs & Videos – Bollywood Hungama". Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Aligarh Movie Review".[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Why a gay Indian professor's death inspired a film". BBC. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  7. ^ "This is not a controversial film about homosexuality". Mumbai Mirror. 3 October 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  8. ^ "'Aligarh' gets standing ovation in Busan, director Hansal Mehta elated". The Indian Express. 4 October 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  9. ^ Halligan, Fionnuala (21 October 2015). "'Aligarh': Review". Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  10. ^ Customer. "Buy cinema tickets for Aligarh | 2015 BFI London Film Festival". Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Mumbai film festival announces eclectic line-up". The Indian Express. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  12. ^ "A different 'Marathi manoos'". Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  13. ^ "Why Aligarh is a very important film". 5 November 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  14. ^ "A masterpiece of cinematic skills, 'Aligarh' has a lot to say about the way we perceive homosexuals". Firstpost. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Manoj Bajpayee wins best actor at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards". The Economic Times. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  16. ^ "WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN 10TH ASIA PACIFIC SCREEN AWARDS". 24 November 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  17. ^ "62nd Jio Filmfare Awards 2017: Complete winners list".
  18. ^ "Filmfare Award 2017 Winners - List of Filmfare Award Winners".

External links[edit]