Article 15 focusses on the evil of caste system and how it has been sucking the sensitivity of our society dry for thousands of years.
By Chetan Mehrishi
As a self-proclaimed cinephile, I admire the guts of filmmakers who look beyond the fantasies Bollywood is known to feed the audience, and instead bring out the ugly truth of us as people without being sugar-coated. Anubhav Sinha‘s latest venture Article 15 is one such film which brings forward the ghastly and inhuman practice of casteism in India that we accept as a normal thing.
Article 15 of our Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, sex, place of birth or caste. The reality, sadly, is far from it. Is the mainstream film with a social message worth your time and money? Read on to find out our this week’s review for Article 15.
Inspired by the infamous Badau rape case, the film narrates the story of Lalgaon, a small village somewhere in UP where the bodies of two minor Dalit girls are found hung by a tree. Ayan Ranjan (Khurrana) is the cop leading the investigation.
As an educated gentleman, Ranjan tries to find some logic behind the illogical segregation of society. The different sects of each caste that is explained to Ranjan by his fellow cops are cringeworthy and true. Will Ayan be able to bring the girls’ families justice? Rather, will it make any difference?
On The Upside
The biggest strength of the film other than the gripping story is the performance of the ensemble cast. Mohamed Zeeshan Ayub in a very limited screen presence leaves an impact. Manoj Pahwa and Kumud Mishra as Ranjan’s deputies show off their skills as veterans in their field. Sayani Gupta is convincing as a Dalit woman who’s not afraid to point out the incompetence of the Police.
Ayushmann Khurrana, on whose shoulders the film rests, has proven yet again that he can take up serious roles and deliver. Portraying a cop feeling like an alien in his own country, Khurrana is exceptional. Anubhav Sinha as a director seems totally in his element handling a sensitive issue with ease. Some scenes like a man lowering down in a sewer to unclog it and coming out covered in filth have been handled efficiently.
On The Downside
The screenplay and dialogues of the movie seem a little too much at times. The script is aggressive on the issue and wishes to jolt you into reality, but on the other hand has its own drawbacks.
Too many social messages are projected at once which will make you feel exhausted.
The film is an uncomfortable watch. It will make you cringe and appall at the gruesome functionality of our civilized society and asks you, a member of this society, that if it doesn’t bother you, then who is to blame? I’m going with 3.5 out of 5 stars for Article 15.
The next time you keep a seperate set of tissues for the housemaid, just give it a thought. “How many times can a man turn his head, and pretend that he just doesn’t see?”- Bob Dylan