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A Veracious Story

Given the unchanged socio-religious crimes, ARTICLE 15 assumes significance

By: Prathana Mahanta

Directed by Anubhav Sinha, Article 15 is a crime drama starring Ayushman Khurrana. This movie is based on Article 15 of the Indian Constitution. The role of a young IPS officer is magnificently played by Ayushman Khurrana. With his powerful performance Ayushman has earned a feather on his cap, perhaps Article 15 being his most successful endeavour so far.

Article 15 of the Constitution provides that no citizen shall be subjected to discrimination in matters of rights, privileges and immunities pertaining to him. The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

The movie has been inspired by multiple true life events including 2014 Budaun gang rape and 2016 Una flogging incident. On 27 May, 2014, a gang rape and murder of two teenage girls was reported in the Katra village of Budaun district, Uttar Pradesh. After an extensive investigation, CBI concluded that there was no gang rape and the suspects were released. However, when on 28 October 2015 the POCSO court rejected the CBI closure report, the premier investigation agency received a major setback.

On the other hand in July 2016, seven members of a Dalit family were assaulted by a group of people in pretext of cow vigilance in Una in Gujarat, India. The incident vent viral on the social media resulting in state wide protests in following months. Forty-three people including four police officers were arrested and the case is under trial since August 2018.

The movie centres on police investigation led by Ayan Ranjan (played by Ayushman Khurrana) after three girls go missing from the village. Article 15 released theatrically on 28 June 2019 and received most critically acclaimed reviews from critics. Starting from Ayushman Khurrana, Isha Talwar, Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra to Ashish Verma, Veen, all actors have put up brilliant performance lending justice to their roles. Ayan Ranjan is an IPS officer from Delhi who has been transferred to village named Lalgaon in Uttar Pradesh. The film principally shows how Ayan solves a caste-related crime.

Article 15 is Anubhav Sinha’s dauntless and stout-hearted film you shouldn’t miss. It’s a triumph for the team. The film begins with a song (Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind), and it ends with a song (the Narsinh Mehta bhajan, Vaishnava Jana To), and interval features a song, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s Vande Mataram, tuned by Tagore. They serve as a double-edged counterpoint for the movie. When frustrated Ayan pins up one copy of Article 15 of the Indian Constitution on a notice board in the police station, this is one big goosebump moment for the audience.

The dialogues of the movie are bewitching. While Aditi (played by Isha Talwar), Ayan’s girlfriend delivers the dialogue, we don’t need heroes, we need people who don’t wait for a hero, this is another goose bump moment for me. This is not a movie about masala, but to see the truth and feel the soul. Truth will always triumph, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance. This movie is a treat to watch because direction is exceptionally made. There is a lot of talk of ‘aukaat’ and ‘jaat’ in the movie. The movie portrays the self-reflection of Ayan and what he stands for. I think its Ayushman’s most intense performance till date. Our struggle does not end so long as there is a single human being considered untouchable on account of his birth!

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