"Article 15" Review: Bold, Thoughtful & Offers Bitingly Trenchant Commentary On Caste Discrimination In India

Mohnish Singh |Jun 27, 2019

After the huge success of “Andhadhun” and “Badhaai Ho” last year, Ayushmann Khurrana begins 2019 with the release of his much-awaited film “Article 15”, directed by well-known filmmaker Anubhav Sinha. Here’s what STARBIZ feels about the film.

Can Ayushmann Khurrana even go wrong when it comes to choosing right scripts? Well, the answer is no! After impressing audiences and critics alike with his power-packed performances in Andhadhun (2018) and Badhaai Ho (2018), the versatile actor is back with yet another different film called Article 15, which talks about the social fabric of India and what plagues it.

STARBIZ correspondent Mohnish Singh happened to watch the hotly anticipated film at a special screening for media and here’s his take on it.

Ayan Ranjan (Ayushmann Khurrana), a young discerning city-based IPS officer, takes over charge of the Lalgaon Police Station in the interior of Uttar Pradesh. Right after joining the office, the first case that he comes across is enough to send shivers down in the spine of anybody who believes in equality and justice.

Ayushmann Khurrana Article 15
Image source: Zee Studio

On a chilly winter morning, dead bodies of two minor girls are found hanging from a tree in Lalgaon. Ayan’s colleague Bramhadatt (Manoj Pahwa) tells him that both girls were in a same-sex relationship and when their fathers came to know about it, they murdered them. However, soon it becomes clear that the girls were gang-raped because they were asking for just a ₹ 3 raise in their daily wages. It is clear who has committed the crime but Ayan needs proofs to bring the perpetrators to book. But there is still more to what meets the eye.

Another minor girl, who can testify in a court of law the brutal rape and murder of two minor village girls, is still missing. Ayan Ranjan will have to find her whereabouts anyhow without buckling to the pressure mounted on him by powerful people in the politics. What follows next forms the crux of the story.

Here’s What Makes Article 15 A Must-Watch

Article 15 takes its inspiration from some real-life incidents while driving home the importance of the provision laid out in the Indian Constitution which prohibits any kind of discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, gender, religion, and place of birth.

The way director Anubhav Sinha blends fiction and reality with an unflinching attitude is completely commendable. His storytelling skills match the heft of the subject the movie deals with. After his last release Mulk (2018), Article 15 is another feather to his cap.

Apart from its hard-hitting storyline, what makes Article 15 a must-watch is Ayushmann Khurrana. With every new release, the versatile actor keeps proving it again and again that there is nothing impossible for him. You can make him do any character and he will do it as convincingly as possible.

As sharp, sincere and honest IPS officer Ayan Ranjan, Ayushmann Khurrana is perfect. He delivers an intense performance which will definitely win him several nominations at award shows. Other praiseworthy performances come from Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra, and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub. Sayani Gupta as village girl Gaura is also impactful.

Ayushmann Khurrana Hot On His Preparation Article
Image source: Zee Studio

Aside from great performances, taut script and competent direction, what keeps you hooked throughout the film is breathtaking cinematography by Ewan Mulligan and, also, background score that adds to the mood. All these elements make Article 15 a tense, atmospheric film that gives you goosebumps more often than not.

Final Verdict

Films like Article 15 do not play at theatres more often and hence it does deserve a watch. Powered by impeccable storytelling and first-class performances by the lead as well as the supporting cast, the movie is dotted with so many hard-hitting moments that will make you sit up and take note.

In a nutshell, Article 15 is a richly, thought-provoking cinematic treat that you should definitely feast your eyes on. I am going with 4 stars.

Movie Credits

Banner: Benaras Media Works, Zee Studios
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra
Runtime: 130 Minutes
STARBIZ Rating: 4 stars

>>> Check more on Starbiz: Protests Amidst Screening Of "Article 15", Filmmakers In Trouble?

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