Director: Anubhav Sinha
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra, Sushil Pandey, Sayani Gupta, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub
Article 15, Anubhav Sinha’s movie is inspired by real-life Bandua Killings, this film features the quietude of policemen in the murder and gang rape of three 15-year-old girls because they belong to ‘lower’ caste. The film highlights the things we choose not to think about.
Ayushmann Khurrana, playing the role of a newly appointed IPS officer named Ayan Ranjan, got posted to the bleak badlands of Uttar Pradesh. The officer, who had completed his education abroad, got introduced to a place where half the people didn’t touch the other half, because of caste discriminations.
The movie portrays the reality which we are unknown of, where reports about real atrocity are relegated to the little-read middle of the newspaper. “Welcome to Page 7 India,” says Ranjan’s wife, when he calls her, his eyes wide with newly discovered outrage at the plight of the Dalits and the downtrodden in middle India.
The movie was written beautifully by Gaurav Solanki and Anubhav Sinha, the movie gives you a taste of reality. The cinematographer, Ewan Mulligan had done a great job by introducing the shots where- a man diving in and out of a drain, cleaning our world because we wouldn’t do it ourselves. There is a brief sequence showing a religious rally, and I don’t remember seeing a more authentic crowd: they’re virtually foaming at the mouth.
The cast performance and the background scores are really well plotted. Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub plays a revolutionary, a rebel who can’t lose hope because he has become the face of it for his people. He gets some of the film’s most memorable lines, and heartbreakingly expresses how he has been so romanticized that he is left without romance. With all that’s wrong around him, it felt criminal for him to smile at the girl he loves. In the land that allows Us and Them, all pleasure feels guilty.
Article 15 is not a film in search of easy answers. Instead, it is a reminder that we already know the questions but don’t ask them enough.