Review By : Movie Run Time : 2 hour 11 minutes
Censor Rating : U/A
Article 15 (aka) Article 15 Hindi review
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Production: Anubhav Sinha
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Isha Talwar, Sayani Gupta
Direction: Anubhav Sinha
Screenplay: Anubhav Sinha, Gaurav
Background score: Mangesh Dhakde
Editing: Yasha
Distribution: Zee Studios

If Anubhav Sinha's 'Mulk' made a broader statement against bigotry by reclaiming our founding fathers' idea of an independent India, a pluralistic  picture in the face of right-wing nationalism, Article 15 attempts at dissecting caste prejudice, an evil that is so entrenched and normalized amongst people for centuries that is has been internalized by every strata of our society.

'Article 15' is a procedural that deals with the case of a missing girl, who was abducted along with two other girls by their employers for asking a salary hike of three rupees. The case is handled by Ayan Ranjan (played by an effective Ayushmann Khurrana), a newly appointed Additional Commissioner in the district of Laalgaon. In the beginning, Ayan comes across as an unassuming Bob Dylan-loving urbaner, whose idea of a countryside is naive or 'beautiful', as he plainly messages to his girlfriend (played by Isha Talwar). He comes to terms with the harshness of caste, where everyone surrounding him thinks only in the binaries of caste.

The film uses the tropes and conventions of genre filmmaking to paint a bleak, dystopian picture. Laalgaon is characterized by high contrast, starkly lit scenery, with mist clad locales that multiply the horror conveyed through the film. For instance, take the scene where police constable Brahmateshwar (played by Manoj Pahwa) coerces the doctor to change the post-mortem results. The scene evocatively conveys the demons lurking within through brilliant use of light and shadows.

The film doesn't make social commentary at the expense of compromising with the procedural. As Ayan goes deeper into the case, the film uncovers and explores the politics of prejudice through the subtle complicity amongst the ones with power in their hands. In other films, the central character really emerges as a hero in such situations, but here, it is seen as simple as someone who does his job. There is no inkling of heroism as every moment is underplayed. Instead, the only rousing mass moment of the film involves an important, but forgotten document,  a page of a constitutional amendment.

Director Anubhav Sinha (who has also co-written the film with Gaurav Solanki) gives a nuanced portrayal without being jingoistic. The film encompasses a lot of real-life incidents through a deeply slow burning investigative drama with a cathartic closure at the end, but it rarely comes across as a make-believe fairytale ending. There are no attempts to provide answers but to raise questions.

'Article 15' is a deeply affecting reflection of our present. In a time where we are coming closer to the brink of desensitization towards prejudice and it's gory aftermath, 'Article 15' comes as a necessary jolt that shakes us away from apathy.


Verdict: 'Article 15' is an intense, must-watch film for its affecting and realistic portrayal of casteism.


3.5 3.5
( 3.5 / 5.0 )


Article 15 (aka) Article 15 Hindi

Article 15 (aka) Article 15 Hindi is a Hindi movie. Ayushmann Khurrana, Isha Talwar, Sayani Gupta are part of the cast of Article 15 (aka) Article 15 Hindi. The movie is directed by Anubhav Sinha. Production by Anubhav Sinha, editing by Yasha.