Article 15 is Anubhav Sinha’s directorial film, which deals with the discrimination in society on the grounds of caste and creed, religion and place of birth, which is of course an all pervasive issue in India.
Directed by- Anubhav Sinha
Produced by- Anubhav Sinha, Zee Studios
Cast- Ayushmann Khurrana, Isha Talwar, Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra
Ayan Ranjan played by Ayushmann Khurrana is an IPS officer who gets posting in an obscure village called Laalgaon. This literate, ‘foreign returned’ officer is completely unaccustomed to and unfamiliar with the existing caste system in India. However, on his arrival in the village to assume his charge, he is shocked to see how the primitive caste system is still breathing and flourishing in a veiled manner in the country. The story of ‘Article 15’, revolves around the protagonist’s understanding of the socio-political situation in India.
As the name suggests, Article 15 is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India drafted by Dr. BR Ambedkar, which states that it is forbidden to discriminate between citizens of the country on the basis of caste, creed, religion, sex or place of birth. And the movie ‘Article 15’ is based on that. Set in the backdrop of Badaun gangrape case of 2014 and Una floggings of 2016, the film talks about how discrimination is a widespread disease plaguing every nook and corner of the country even today.
Amongst so many other powerful scenes and dialogues, there’s a scene which has no dialogue. However, it sends chills down your spine. There’s a closeup of a man who immerses himself in a filthy, clogged drain in order to clean it. This particular scene compels you to think how even today, in the 21st-century when we’ve reached Mars and are preparing for Chandrayaan 2, there are thousands of people endangering their life and dignity every day in manual scavenging. The depiction of this scene is actually a physical manifestation of the vast injustice in our society.
Furthermore, to investigate and understand how the caste-system works, Khurrana asks rest of the cops their caste and unexpectedly everyone is ready with their answers. At first, the scene would make you chuckle, but actually it’s a mockery to show how even the law enforcement machinery is part and parcel of the unfairness of the system.
This film is a straightforward reminder of how as citizens we should follow our Constitution. Important issue, but very rarely picked up by Bollywood. Being a part of the mainstream commercial cinema, this film is sure to make an impact on the masses.
Casting of this film is brilliant. Khurrana as Ayan Ranjan does a terrific job of portraying an urban man posted in a land where social practices seem too medieval. Apart from the main lead, other actors such as Sayani Gupta as Gaura, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Nishad and others also stand out with their performances.
We must appreciate Khurrana for picking up films which are offbeat and the subject never fails to affect a social change. And ‘Article 15’ is no different. It’s not preachy in nature but at the same time it has a strong message in it.
All in all, a great script, exceptional performances, and sensible dealing of an important issue make Article 15 a must watch.