Manoj Bajpayee Plays A Homosexual In Hansal Mehta’s ALIGARH
While not many mainstream films have covered the topic in Bollywood, Manoj Bajpayee is all set to play the role of a homosexual professor in his next film. Based on a true story of a college professor being fired from his job due to his sexual orientation, the film is called ‘Aligarh’ and is directed by Hansal Mehta, a filmmaker fast on the rise. The first look was released a few days ago.
The image gives us a very bleak looking Manoj Bajpayee and almost gives me vibes of ‘The Imitation Game’. Not to mean the movie is anywhere based on that, but one has to wonder if the success of movies in Hollywood like ‘The Imitation Game’ nominated for 8 Academy Awards in 2015, influence the viability of film and stories like this within Bollywood. Filmmaker Onir has always promoted more films raising awareness to the way homosexuality is treated within India with his films like ‘My Brother Nikhil’ and ‘I Am’.
#ImitationGame wish “stars” in India would someday soon have the courage and conviction to act as gay. That could make a difference
— Onir (@IamOnir) February 9, 2015
Seems like Onir will be getting his wish with Bajpayee, a commercially well known actor of Bollywood, definitely considered a ‘star’, playing a gay character. When asked how he feels about this casting given his previous tweet above, Onir replied to me with the following.
— Onir (@IamOnir) March 17, 2015
Just like Onir, I’m eagerly looking forward to ‘Aligarh’ and hope that it truly gets the media spotlight that a story like this deserves. While brilliant films, both ‘I Am’ and ‘My Brother Nikhil’ were smaller and obscure films that not many know about to this day, despite being critically acclaimed all over the world, here’s hoping that ‘Aligarh’ gets a lot more attention and this opens doors for more filmmakers and actors to features stories about characters of the LGBT community.
‘Aligarh’ has no release date as of yet, but is directed by Hansal Mehta of ‘CityLights’ & ‘Shahid‘ fame and also stars the lead of this films, Rajkumar Rao.