Filmmaker Hansal Mehta revealed the first trailer of his much awaited next film, Aligarh, on Thursday evening. Starring Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao and in lead roles, the trailer is painful and powerful as it sketches the life of a man who begins as an outsider and ends as an outcast.
Bajpayee’s protagonist is a gay Marathi professor in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh University. Journalists break into his house and catch him in an intimate act with a man.
From then on, it is a fight for him to reclaim his privacy and his self esteem as three words define his entire being. In the three-minute trailer, dialogues like ‘Homosexuality ko practice karna wo bhi university premises ke andar haraam maana jaata hai’ and ‘bachelor aadmi terrorist hota hai kya?’ sound strangely haunting. A sad reflection of our society that prides itself on being a democracy but refuses to give people their right to live and love.
Aligarh is based on the real life incident of Professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras of Aligarh Muslim University, who was terminated from his job because of his sexuality. Rajkummar Rao plays a journalist in the film who is trying to bring his story to the world.
Speaking about his role in the film, Manoj had earlier said, “My role in Aligarh is so gentle and pure hearted that it made me a better person. I have not seen a noble human like him (the character in Aligarh). It is a great story to tell. You will be moved by the character.”
Elaborating on the sensitive issue the film is based on, the National Award-winning actor had said, “We wanted to make a great film out of it. And not for a second we thought that we were making a film on homosexuality. We always thought we were making a film on somebody who deserved much more than what he got from the society.”
Aligarh garnered applause and received a standing ovation after its screening at the 20th Busan International Film Festival and London Film Festival. It was also the opening film at 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
Watch trailer here