In Bollywood films, we have seen many characters that belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and inequality has been showcased in many movies. Remember Kachra from Lagaan or Jalebi from Delhi 6. But now, we have a whole film that talks about the people of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the injustice that they face in India. I am talking about Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15.
Set in Lalgunj, Uttar Pradesh, Article 15 takes us into the interiors of India where still there’s a lot of discrimination happening on the basis of the caste. There are upper caste people who still believe that they cannot drink water from the hands of people who belong to lower caste. Forget drinking water, they would also not like to see their shadows. But to show them their status in society, they don’t mind raping them. Just like his last directorial Mulk which was about the prejudice towards Muslims in the country, Sinha in Article 15 talks about the prejudice towards people of scheduled caste.
One of the characters in the film mouths a dialogue, ‘unhe unki aukat dikhane ki zarorat thi’ (it was important to show them their place) and you start wondering that do such people really exists in India. Well maybe, the answer is yes, and that’s why a film was required to remind everyone that Article 15 of the Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination of Indians on basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
The movie has scenes that will make you clap and whistle in the theatre. But while the basic concept is fantastic and dialogues are simply amazing, the film has a few flaws as well. The screenplay of the movie could have been a bit tighter in the first half. Also, there are a couple of other few sub-plots in the film and they could have easily been avoided, especially, the political rally part.
One thing that Sinha gets full marks for is the casting of the film. From his first scene to the end credits song, Ayushmann Khurrana is excellent. He has given an award-winning performance. Sayani Gupta is outstanding. Her eye expressions are simply amazing. Kumud Mishra and Manoj Pahwa put up a very strong performance. Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub is impressive in his part. Isha Talwar, unfortunately, doesn’t have much to do in the movie.
Thankfully, the makers have not included any song in between the film. The movie starts with a song which talks about discrimination and ends with a rap which also impresses us a lot. Concentrate on the lyrics of both the songs they are quite interesting and relevant. Even the use of Vande Mataram tune at a few places in the film works very well.
Overall, Anubhav Sinha comes up with an impressive film that has some hard-hitting moments and fantastic performances.
Watch the trailer here…