His last couple of films have been hard hitting affairs. Be it 'Shahid' or 'Aligarh', director Hansal Mehta has stepped into a zone which has shook many a viewer, courtesy the realistic depiction of some heartbreaking tales that were waiting to be told on screen. Now with Aligarh, which is based on the real life tale of Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras from Aligarh Muslim University who was sacked from his position on charges of homosexuality in 2010, one expects nothing less, what with accomplished actors like Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao stepping into the fold.
"Well, the film is very close to me and I have been traveling with it to various film festivals. I have seen the response across the globe with different kind of audiences," says Hansal, "In fact when I saw the first cut of the film, I told Manoj there and then that this is his finest performance till date. This is the crowning glory of his career. To be playing an old man and that too with alternate sexuality brings in so much baggage for an actor. With Aligarh, he has given a very sublime interpretation to the whole theme."
It was way back in year 2000 when Hansal Mehta and Manoj Bajpayee had come together for Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar, a dark comedy that had moments of brilliance in there. Circa 2016 and the director-actor duo is coming back with 'Aligarh', a real life drama that is expected to shock and move the audience. Even as the film arrives after gaining quite a few accolades globally, Hansal is happy to have reunited with Manoj for 'Aligarh' which is expected to open the Pandora's Box.
"There is no change in the Manoj of 2000 and 2016," says Hansal, "For me, even at that time the kind of work that he did or the kind of effort that he put in was of top quality. Nothing has changed. Back then he had done Shool which boasted of one of his best performances. From there to Aligarh, Manoj has just grown further as an actor."
On a personal level too, Hansal believes that things have now gone to the next level.
"As a human being, Manoj has matured over the years. That goes for me as well as both of us have matured. From 'Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar' to 'Aligarh', it has been one eventful journey for the both of us," smiles Hansal before signing off.
Written by Apurva Asrani and produced by Karma Pictures & Eros International, 'Aligarh' releases this Friday.