The propelling silence is omnipresent throughout, so much so that it questions one’s conscience with its tormenting penchant for answers. Aligarh pauses like how a poem does at powerful junctures and then moves again with the pace as that of a soothing poem. Aligarh welcomes introspection at various junctures.
The movie is as much about a corroding and fearing beautiful soul as it is about homosexuality and section 377. It is not only about the law or what it preaches or what it perceives to be right or wrong, but also about how a prejudiced society corners an innocent soul to the depth of unrecoverable shambles.
When Siras is asked if he is a gay, he reluctantly tries to explain how wrong he feels about branding a natural emotional feeling in just three alphabets, and fencing its boundaries with unjustifiable perceptions. Isn’t it so true that we as a society have failed in respecting and valuing an innocent love, merely because it isn’t what the majority feels!
Aligarh eases poetically in depicting the sufferings and the struggles of an innocent soul when it’s privacy is intruded and fed into every public mind rather shamelessly by this society. The silence is not only disturbing but also scary. Manoj Bajpayee as Siras excels in his role here. The way he rather reluctantly utters – as if he doesn’t want to prove his innocence to this world or he is tiered of doing so – every word is a treat to watch for any movie lover. The director, Hansal Mehta, has done a wonderful job.
Siras is also bemused as to how wrongly and cheaply the society has taken into the word ‘love’. He laughs at us and truly so. He also mocks at how we describe our feelings with a few limited words – fantastic, wonderful, superb etc. There is a dearth of poets in today’s world, he moans.
Then there is an attempt by Siras to translate his Marathi poems to English. To Siras the court sessions – where the arguments intensify for his suspension from university to be revoked – are boring, and hence he finds time to translate his poems but he admits that the translated version doesn’t justify the original one.
Just like the translation that failed to keep up to the originality, Indian Supreme court fails to translate the true feelings of any innocent soul into a paper in the form of a judgement. To criminalize one’s right to love is to intrude beyond boundaries into one’s personal space. The movie does it’s bit to show the way, it is up to the court to look into the issue with a broader mind.