Article 15: Progressive Cinema with Real & Bitter Ground Truth

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Article 15 of the Indian Constitution says:

“No citizen of India shall be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth”

And this is what forms the premise of the Ayushmann Khurrana starrer, Anubhav Sinha directed movie, with the same name.

The movie is loosely based on the gang rape case that happened in Budaun, Uttar Pradesh.

Anubhav Sinha has managed to capture the dark and depressing underbelly of the UP hinterland making the movie a brilliantly disturbing watch.

Sinha paints a realistic picture of rural India where the Constitution of India is a mere book while society makes up it’s own laws under the guise of “way of life”

The first half an hour of the movie has you as clueless as the protagonist who has yet to realise the stark reality of the villages which a normal urban person is alienated from.

Ayushmann Khurrana playing the top cop Ayan Ranjan, delivers a stellar performance as he starts accepting his own upper caste, privileged confusions while his cajoled and pampered world collides with the savage and depressing real world of the masses in India.

The movie creeps up on you, picking up it’s pace and by the time it gets over, it wrings you dry, leaving you to deal with your own emotional conflicts.

The movie has its light moments when you can let out of giggle or two, but even that humor is wry and dank, ensuring that your giggles are more of an avenue to vent your relief, as if you are trying to gasp for some fresh air.

I specifically liked the scene in which the Cop Jatav (played by Kumud Mishra) feels the need to call Manoj Pahwa as “Bhramhabatt Ji” even as he slaps him while arresting him on charges of rape….

Or the scene at the end of the movie when Gaura (played by Sayani Gupta) sits in the jeep and folds her hand and thanks Ayushmann Khurrana, even as he stands puffing his chest hardly acknowledging her with so much as a nod.

Both the scenes leave you with a distinct awareness of how so deeply ingrained the casteism is in the minds of both, the oppressor and the oppressed, that it has been made into a norm which the society accepts and abides by, almost subconsciously.

With a brilliant depicting of almost true events backed by fantastic performances by the entire star cast and a social message, Article 15 becomes a perfect package to be watched by one and all.

And finally, I will leave you with the same message that the movie gave me….. “The world does not need heroes, it just needs people who don’t keep waiting for a hero to appear”

I hope the movie inspires people to just do their job, perform their duties in the manner that they are supposed to be performed…….without any discrimination towards anyone irrespective of their religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

After all….. That’s what’s written in the Constitution of India and abiding by it should be the most normal thing to do and not an act of heroism.

The review was first published by Darshan Mondkar on his facebook timeline.

Disclaimer: I am pretty sure most people must have watched this movie right now but if anyone hasn’t watched it as yet, I apologize for not giving a spoiler alert.

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