• Aligarh is an important film, and it’s powered by sensitive writing, nuanced direction, and masterful performances from its central players.

  • Shubhra Gupta
    Shubhra Gupta
    Indian Express


    Like in his ‘Shahid’, Hansal Mehta and scriptwriter Apurva Asrani have come up with a lead character and a film which shines with authenticity and emotional heft, which leaves you thinking, and which says something we should all listen to, especially in these times when it has become more imperative than ever before: we can be different, but we are us.

  • Sweta Kaushal
    Sweta Kaushal
    Hindustan Times


    At a time when notions of morality and jingoism are obstructing the ideas of freedom, democracy and individualism, Aligarh is a must-watch. It’s a reminder that freedom of choice can never be less important, and that is what democracy is about.

  • Mehul S Thakkar
    Mehul S Thakkar
    Deccan Chronicle


    Apart from the man’s journey which the film informs in detail, there is nothing about the film that holds you in totality. Manoj Bajpayee single-handedly carries the film on his shoulder. It appears that Hansal Mehta got too attached to the subject and got carried away.

  • In Hindi cinema, where homosexuality is an object of derisive gags or caricature, the portrayal Aligarh offers is refreshing and respectful. But it’s much too multifaceted, at times for its own good, to be acknowledged for just that. 

  • Mehta strips the tragic true story of all vestiges of overt sentimentality. Instead, he fills the depths of the understated but intensely moving drama with genuine, unsettling emotion.

    So, in addition to being a portrayal of the gay experience in an unjust and insensitive society, Aligarh is a human drama with universal resonance. It encapsulates the plight of all dissenters.

  • Renuka Vyavahare
    Renuka Vyavahare
    Times Of India


    Hansal Mehta captures the inner turmoil and unrest of Siras in the most understated manner. Most importantly, he gives Manoj Bajpayee the role of a lifetime and the latter infuses soul to his character.

  • Two of India’s finest actors star in a new Bollywood film that puts the spotlight on homophobia in India, with its makers hoping to rekindle the debate on homosexuality and the right to privacy.

  • Sarita Tanwar
    Sarita Tanwar
    DNA India


    The best part of the film is its utter commitment to Siras’ story. We watched silently while an innocent man was victimised just because he was different from us, that’s just one more reason to watch this film.

  • Suhani Singh
    Suhani Singh
    India Today


    Like Shahid, Siras’s fate was also tragic. He was found dead in his apartment, just a few days after he won the legal battle in Allahabad High Court and the day when the University sent a letter reinstating him. Apurva Asrani, screenwriter and also the editor, and Mehta deserve credit for reminding viewers of a forgotten, reluctant and wronged hero who happens to be gay. Their biggest accomplishment is that they have treated him with respect and sensitivity. Qualities we, as a nation, could all do with.

  • Aligarh is an experience more than a film. I call it an experience because it makes one ponder over their blessed lives and how ignorant we are towards the plight of the LGBT community. It is a gem studded with a noteworthy performance by Manoj Bajpayee.

  • ALIGARH is a sensitive film which will touch your heart. However, due to its slow pace, it may appeal to a very niche segment of multiplex audiences.

  • Overall, the honesty and the haunting reality of the story are what make Aligarh such a compelling watch. Even in the disheartening end, Aligarh gives you hope that maybe, someday our society will be on the verge of coming out for good.

  • ALIGARH is for a niche audience who love their performances refined. And as far as a performance goes, Bajpayee surprises even himself.

  • Suprateek Chatterjee
    Suprateek Chatterjee


    There is also the questionable decision of showing the same incident four times in the film, which ends up crossing the line from ‘showing’ to ‘telling’. Like its protagonist, Aligarh is reluctant to assume an identity. It’s perfectly fine for an individual to make that choice; films, however, may then have to ride on the strength of adjectives that don’t necessarily tell you anything about its aesthetics.

  • Credit goes to Mehta and writer Apurva Asrani for etching out his character with such precision. Rajkummar Rao, who has successfully adapted the Malayali accent to suit journalist Sebastian’s role, lends good support. The admirable ease with which they relate to each other shows us the magic that can happen when two good actors come together on screen.

  • Subhash K Jha
    Subhash K Jha


    Aligarh must be seen for its powerful eschewal of moral judgements of an individual’s private activities. It ends on a question mark on how the professor’s life ended.

    We come away haunted and stricken by an inexplicable guilt for what was done to ProfSrinivas Sirus . We come away thinking about the sad sorry life of a good professor who happened to be gay.

  • Despite a sterling performance by Manoj Bajpayee and other positives,Aligarh ends up being an inconsistent biopic – on the one hand providing a beautiful portrait of reclusiveness, yet elsewhere doing a disservice to a man to whom this country owes an apology.

  • Manisha Lakhe
    Manisha Lakhe


    A professor of Marathi in Aligarh University is forced to resign after being humiliated for being gay. This is his story, sensitively told and brilliantly delivered by Manoj Bajapyee and supported by Rajkummar Rao.

  • Stutee Ghosh
    Stutee Ghosh


    The performances no doubt constitute the soul of the film, but it’s to the credit of Hansal Mehta and Apurva Asrani that they translate so beautifully on screen. The flashbacks are deployed to stunning effect. Prof Siras’s story isn’t just a fight for gay rights but a triumph of conviction and spirit and for that it is a must watch.

  • You get instantly drawn to this guy and therefore this film. Sure, the issue it addresses is urgent (homophobia, section 377, right to privacy, etc. etc.). But there is something very deeply unaesthetic about mere activism posing as art. It rarely works. This film does. Because of its very personal, painfully heart-felt writing (Apurva Asrani), first.

  • Pooja Pande
    Pooja Pande


    The turmoil of being homosexual and surviving in the Indian society is not something all of us go through. The struggle for acceptance and a disturbing end will move you. The performances are beyond brilliant and the film is crisp, not a minute longer. This is a movie not only for the arthouse cinema lovers but also for the rest. The movie shows a stark contrast between Siras’ and Deepu’s worlds, and you cannot help but feel strongly for the protagonist. The movie rises above just another social cause, and has layers of humanity to it. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss this one.

  • IndiaGlitz
    India Glitz


    ‘Aligarh’ excels the level of Indian cinema and is a must watch for all those who love good cinema. It will cater only to a niche audience and might be hard to digest for all those who love soft candy floss types of love stories.

  • Tushar Joshi
    Tushar Joshi
    Bollywood Life


    Aligarh needs to be watched. It is serious cinema and you need to be patient with the pace. But if you give into Mehta’s storytelling and let Siras charm you with his innocence then Aligarh will become an instant favourite. A film about human divinity and rights about anything else, Aligarh is high on my recommendation list.

  • Uday Bhatia
    Uday Bhatia


    It’s inevitable that any cinematic rendering of gay lives in India will be seen and promoted as an “issue film”. This has certainly been the case with Aligarh, and I hope it sparks conversations about Section 377 in TV studios and living rooms. Yet, an even bigger victory for the film might lie in getting vaguely homophobic viewers to empathize with Siras, to understand his distaste for easy labels, to admit that even they sit in the dark with a drink and listen to old Hindi film songs.

  • Mehta’s sure-footed storytelling is enhanced by the technical finesse, from the cinematography and editing, to the production design and music.

    Watch the film to experience a story that is as searing as it is sensitive. Most crucially, the film ensures that the absurdity of a law criminalizing homosexuality hits home harder than ever.

  • It is an important film. It is a courageous film even. The film does some things really well. But, it isn’t necessarily an absorbing one.

  • Kunal Guha
    Kunal Guha
    Mumbai Mirror


    How one experiences this film mirrors one’s opinions and preconceived notions of alternative sexualities. It’s a film of many firsts. And given how most Hindi movies caricature homosexuals, this one is a reality check.

  • FullyHyd Team
    FullyHyd Team
    Fully Hyderabad


    The striking thing about Aligarh, as with Shahid, is that it doesn’t give in to the temptation of having to make someone else a villain. There is subtle bespeaking of the less-than-noble intentions of the university administration, but there is no scene where they are actively being villainous. The film just doesn’t dwell on them, and spends its time on its protagonist’s story alone. If you finally feel he had been given a bad deal, then the film has registered its success without having to point a finger at anyone.

  • Namrata Joshi
    Namrata Joshi
    The Hindu


    The film is a unique step forward in reality cinema in that it uses actual names of people and places involved in the real incident. But then it still has to put a disclaimer at the start.

  • Murtaza Ali Khan
    Murtaza Ali Khan


    Wrapped underneath its complexities and hidden subtexts, Aligarh is a simple film about a common man who suffers at the hands of an inconsiderate society. Perhaps, that’s what adds to its universal appeal. Aligarh is a movie that needs to be watched.

  • Sandip Roy
    Sandip Roy


    It is to Hansal Mehta and writer-editor Apurva Asrani’s credit that they resist the urge to mold him into a more recognizable filmi hero that we can root for. That restraint gives Aligarh its most memorable tender moments. As Siras says poetry is not in the words, it’s hidden behind the words, in silences, in pauses. The film lives up to that.

  • Hansal Mehta’s direction touches a raw nerve and makes you embrace the film wholeheartedly.

  • Hansal Mehta’s direction touches a raw nerve and makes you embrace the film wholeheartedly. Aligarh is based on real life incidents that makes it a compelling watch. The actors have given their career best performances and the story is so touching and inspiring! All in all, Aligarh is a must watch!

  • Heartbreaking, triumphant, defiant, shocking, Hansal Mehta successfully manages to blow your mind with this heart wrenching film. Manoj, Rajkummar and Apurva all emerge as heroes in their own right. It is one of those rare times when the film wins.

  • The movie is most powerful as a miniature about a man who prefers the comforts of the shadows rather than the glare of the spotlight. Mehta and Asrani put forth the message of the personal as political with as much restraint as is possible in a mainstream movie. Deepu draws the introverted professor out of his self-imposed prison and seems to be able to restore some of his trampled-upon dignity. There are some benefits to being forcibly outed. Siras recites his poetry at a gathering, shyly accepts the applause, and, for the first time in days, feels better about himself. It’s one of the movie’s most affecting scenes and Bajpayee’s finest moment.

  • Apurva Asrani’s writing is compelling enough for conversations to finally start on this yet so sensitive subject. Gay rights and more importantly human rights is what it stands for and for that the film should be watch by all who still think that the LGBT minority of the country does not have the right to speak out.
    Do not Miss this one!!!

  • Mehta creates visuals, moments and lines that stay with you, and he stays loyal to his subject but does not seemingly care for more than a niche audience.

  • Rahul Desai
    Rahul Desai


    The makers show considerable restraint with their film. It may be a story about hypocrisy, sexuality, intolerance, “coming out” and various relevant causes. But they will do well to remember that, first and foremost, Aligarh is a dignified account of two men who became necessary to each other – before the world (and the jowls of politics and Bollywood) consumed both, the movie, and its inhabitants.