“No he is not gay and you don’t say he is a gay, you just say gay, like he is gay and not a gay
Aligarah is not a gay movie. And it is an adult movie. It could be your best movie experience (at least of this year), but it is definitely not a movie for those who go to cinema to chill. Without any background score, the deafening silence of this movie could be your nightmare ‘art’ movie experience. So don’t get carried away by words of mouth of it being a rocking movie.
It is no Paan Singh Tomar or Milkha Singh, much less a Mary Kom, it’s a biopic of a very regular ordinary professor who is caught in a controversy and even after that his ordinariness does not changes like Ajay Devgan’s ordinariness changes after he is caught in a controversy in Drishyam. here, he stays normal till the end of the movie.
The portrayal of his ordinariness, the regularity, of course not the ordinariness of “a guy next door”, he is not your guy next door also, he is 64 year old professor of Marathi who lives a bachelor life, the portrayal of his ordinariness, is truly seductive.
The way he will buy his quarter of Royal Stag in the evening, carrying jholas of daily shopping, you always go last to the theka. Right! then the scenes of drinking alone, listening to music, it’s one of the best long shot, I have ever seen, almost the full song “Aapki Nazron ne Samjha pyar ke kaabil mujhe“is played on screen, camera focusing on his face, his hand holding glass, and the way he starts singing midway, the mixture of his voice and Lata’s voice brings the distinctness of two altogether different ways of movie making on screen, that scene is just brilliant. And hats off to Manoj Bajpai!!
Or when he shifts to a new house, the wrapped ( in chadar) saman kept in the hall, he makes space for himself, sits down and start drinking his daily whiskey, that’s so real, so true. Actually this movie has so many of such long shots. So much so, that it gives you the time to sink in to the scene that you are seeing.
Without any “dialogues”, only through the medium of conversation, this movie raises questions in a very subtle way. Like the one I quoted in the beginning paragraph. Why not A gay?
Is he hinting on the individuality of sexuality, the way he is reluctant on accepting the new branding of him as a gay. Why can’t you be A gay? Professor, in fact, brings out the problem of today’s 24X7 news channels that need to categories everything.
The best was when his news of having sex with a ricksaw-waalah and his subsequent dismissal reaches the big media house, one new reporter, another brilliant portrayal by Rajkumar Rao, truly rocking, especially the ease with which he delivers his jokes, brilliant timing, so when he brings this news to his big Editor, she says, it’s a sex Scandal give it to…… quick categorization!!
Like the way, everyone just wanted to emphasize on him owning up that he is gay, and media channels, you would love to notice a background of Arnabh Goswami show in one shot where he is shouting at Akbaruddin Owasis, couldn’t have been better time for releasing this movie. Did he intentionally pick up that particular show for the movie?? brilliant if he did !!
So yes, I think, this movie opens up a larger question on sexuality and privacy. Is sexuality a socially controlled reified human ritual or is it random, on the spot thing, like a poetry that just comes to you then also the relationship between love and sex.
Like the landlady’s daughter, or fellow tenant whoever she was, otherwise almost negligible character in the movie but long shot once again makes you take note of her, her sexuality; was she in love with Rajkumar Rao or was it just an urge to have sex, And the old lady smoking hukka contextualize the court room debate on morality.
The ambit of morality discussion, can you judge and punish a person, a professor more so if he is immoral. This movie has presented the legal debate in the finest way possible. You can watch it for the court room scene, again a grand departure from traditional Bollywood court room scenes, No drama but powerful portrayal, never showed the face of judge, was that intentional??) And yes no drams even when we had scenes of cross examination on screen.
I think I will watch it doobara then I will continue
To Be Continued….