Verdict: A hard-hitting film that raises uncomfortable questions in the right way.
Ayushmann Khurrana is one Bollywood actor who seems to be doing everything right with his career. He has consistently chosen substantial scripts and has made a name for himself in an industry of superstars. He is not the only one who seems to have gotten things right, though. Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha who last directed the movie Mulk has done the same thing. A film based on the topic of Article 15, which is extensively covered in Part III of the Indian Constitution – Fundamental Rights, may sound like a hardcore political drama. But this movie is so much more than that.
What’s Article 15 About:
Ayan Ranjan (Ayushmann Khurrana), a young IPS officer, gets posted to Lalgaon in Uttar Pradesh. His team of policemen includes Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra, and others. Initially, Ayan Ranjan loves the charm and peacefulness of the Indian countryside and even talks to his girlfriend Aditi (Isha Talwar) about it. But the very next day of his posting, he is taken to a crime scene where two girls have been found hanging from a tree and a third girl has been missing for two days. The local police dismiss it as an honor killing and push to get the fathers of both the girls arrested for the unsolved crime. An alumnus of a very prestigious college in India and having lived in Europe for a while, Ayan finds it confusing to understand the societal expectations of people belonging to different castes in the village. He soon realises that this case is not as simple as it seems. The case unravels a lot of prevalent issues in the village, which is an unapologetic depiction of what is wrong with our society. Will cops who still upheld the age-old practice of discrimination on the grounds of the caste system see beyond it? What exactly happened to the three girls?
Director Anubhav Sinha has done a splendid job at handling a subject as simple as it is complex. We are fooling ourselves if we believe that discrimination based on caste does not exist anymore in the Indian society and believe that these issues exist only in the rural areas.
Laced as a crime-drama, this film is a brilliant suspense thriller. Article 15 is a must-watch for many reasons. Apart from the brilliant filmmaking, the movie also had phenomenal performances. Ayushmann has made a habit of delivering performances that resonate with the movie watcher. The actor is a truly talented performer. He expresses so much with just so little!
The entire cast’s performance is remarkable. Sayani Gupta is impressive as is Manoj Pahwa in a new role. Manoj Pahwa who has very often been cast in the jovial chachu, mamu and uncle roles, does something very differents and does it incredibly well. We wish he takes more of these. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Nassar have been cast in brief but powerful and impactful roles. Isha Talwar may have had a brief role too in Article 15 but she makes her presence felt. She seems to have developed into a fine actor who we’d like to see more often. Kumud Misha has done an exceptional job not only in intense scenes but also in the much-needed scenes that provide some comic relief.
Ewan Mulligan’s camerawork is noteworthy and adds to the the intensity this plot demands. The music and background score work well.
Article 15 answers all the uncomfortable questions without underplaying any issue. It is gruesome, it is raw and it is a must-watch.
What Could’ve Been Better:
The movie doesn’t falters much. The pace of the movie may seem slow to some.
Why You Should Watch:
Article 15 will make you question traditional beliefs that are still prevalent, probably in our own homes; beliefs that need to stop existing anymore but still do. The movie will have you hooked from the very beginning and from there it is simply impossible to take your eyes off of the big screen. Isn’t that what any movie should really do? Article 15 is impressive and poignant and must not be missed.
Watch what other critics and the public have to say about the movie right here!