Article 15 of the Indian constitution states that there shall not be any discrimination against any individual on grounds of caste, religion, sex, race and place of birth. But deep down, we all know the relevance of this to our society, as an individual and as a community. Article 15, directed by Anubhav Sinha is based on the atrocities caused to the Dalit community amidst a case involving the gang rape of 2 minor girls and a missing girl from the same community. The movie is an eye opener.
Ayan Ranjan (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a newly appointed IPS officer posted in Lalgaon, Uttar Pradesh. Things take a bad turn the moment he arrives in Lalgaon as the murder case of two minors hogs limelight. Once the investigation ensues, Ayan discovers the deep rooted evils associated with discrimination in the entire village. Not the one to back down, Ayan a typical educated moralistic individual decides to correct things even when he knows this is merely a race against time. How he manages to solve the case amidst tension involving casteism and corruption is the rest of the story.
Article 15 is a rarity in Indian cinema. Rarity because not many filmmakers would risk venturing into this uncharted territory, but Anubhav Sinha clearly is a man on a mission. After the critically acclaimed, Mulk, Sinha delivers another gem in form of Article 15. There is a scene in which a cleaner from the lower caste goes into a manhole to clean the swamp and he does it because nobody else will. This in many ways reminded me of the courageous filmmakers like Sinha who come up with such gems time and again to rattle us. Article 15 is a disturbing movie that throws light on the other nation within a nation. The impact is huge.
Great movies are not short of performances. Ayushmman Khurrana is at it again. If his script selection has been immaculate, his acting has only been better. He plays an upcoming officer with sheer astuteness, one who goes through a journey of self discovery. Equally good are the performances from Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra and the ever reliable Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub. A scene towards the end when he breaks down in front of his girlfriend confessing the guilt within is an absolutely emotional wreck. But the performance to speak of undoubtedly comes from Manoj Pahwa. The veteran playing a dishonest cop gives the performance of a lifetime in a brilliant character written out for him. Writers Gaurav Solanki and Anubhav Sinha refer to the infamous Badaun case from 2014 and build a story around the horrific case. Special mention for cinematographer Ewan Mulligan who shoots some of the most impactful scenes beautifully. Also, the background score helps building the palpable tension and is a clear winner.
My verdict- Barring the sequence between Ayushmann’s and Isha Talwar’s characters, Article 15 is otherwise an intense, riveting drama. This is a significant offering from Hindi cinema that unabashedly ruffles a lot of feathers. This movie as mentioned earlier is an eye opener in ways more than one and deserves everyone’s time. Don’t miss it at any cost, I am going with 4.5 stars out of 5.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2