Article 15: A timely Social Drama

The film starts with IPS officer Ayan Ranjan (Ayushmann Khurrana) getting posted in Laalgaon, a fictional village set in Uttar Pradesh. Having come from an affluent background, the poverty-stricken region is a huge reality check for Ayan, who is equally taken aback by the regressive caste system that prevails in these parts of the country. It is in this context that he has to deal with a controversial case as two minor girls are found hanging. A determined Ayan vows to get to the bottom of the mystery—but will his rationalistic approach bear fruit in the rhetoric-driven world? Watch Article 15 to find that out.

After the critically acclaimed Mulk, director Anubhav Sinha comes up with another hard-hitting social drama which is extremely relevant to the times we live in. As the title suggests, the film’s theme delves on Article 15 of the Constitution of India. Sinha has done a fantastic job in scripting it as the film doesn’t get preachy at any point. Article 15 takes its time to get going initially but picks up pace gradually, evoking curiosity in the viewer. The mood of the film is established within the first few sequences and that remains consistent throughout.

The entire star cast of Article 15 comes up with great performances— Ayushmann Khurrana as the protagonist is fabulous, adding multiple layers into his character with minimal fuss. While neither his characterization nor genre has any scope for typical filmy heroism, Ayushmann certainly has his moments where he packs a punch. Dialogues by Sinha and Gaurav Solanki are the standout and elevate the movie by a few notches.

Apart from Khurana, Kumud Mishra and Manoj Pahwa have the meatiest of roles as the subordinate police officers. The veterans are in full form here as they dish out effortless performances. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub manages to leave an impact despite lack of screen time while the under-rated Sayani Gupta comes up another strong performance. The ever-dependable Nassar has a cameo and Isha Talwar too puts in a special appearance.

As for the technical side, the film ticks all the boxes. Ewan Mulligan’s cinematography is sublime, as it captures the rawness of the village with finesse. The editing department, helmed by Yasha Ramchandani, does a neat job with crisp cuts. It isn’t surprising that Sinha decided to do away with songs for a film of this genre, although there is one for the end credits.

Much like Mulk, Article 15 is also a socially relevant film that is cogent and brutally honest in what it intends to portray. This sincerity reflects in the powerful dialogues and screenplay. Overall, Article 15 is brave, poignant and above all, thought-provoking. It’s expected to create ripples for its honest depiction of reality.

Verdict: Excellent

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