Ayushmann Khurrana, Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra, Isha Talwar, Sayani Gupta, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Nassar
Director Anubhav Sinha is one director who has always tried to show the real face of the society through his films and he does this with sheer perfection. With 'Article 15', Anubhav Sinha has once again made a strong impact on the society, which will surely open the eyes of some people who use castism for their political gains.
As the title suggests, the film revolves around the 'Article 15' of our Constitution, which is about Right to Equality. It prohibits discrimination of Indians on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
Ayushmann Khurrana is playing an IPS officer Ayan Ranjan, who is posted in a small town in rural India, where he realizes that the place is infested with caste discrimination.
The story moves further when three girls from a village under his jurisdiction go missing and then two of the three missing girls are found hanging on a tree. The investigation of this case moves at a snail's pace with no attempt made to find Pooja, the third teenager. It is only after the locals tell him that the lives of these girls were at peril because they demanded a raise of Rs 3 in their daily wages that the reality of injustice strikes him and thence, he strives his best to counteract on humanitarian grounds.
The film is definitely Ayushmann's canvas. With a well-coiffured mane, Ayushmann is initially not too impressive as an IPS officer, but then his character grows on you and you get engrossed with the narrative as you are charged with whatever he does.
Ayushmann is aptly supported by Manoj Pahwa and Kumud Mishra as Police Inspectors Bhramadatt and Jatav, Isha Talwar as Ayan's long-distance girlfriend, Namashi Chakraborty as the influential contractor Anshu Arya, Sayani Gupta as Pooja's older sister Gaura, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Nishad - Gaura's lover and a rebel Dalit and Ronjini Chakraborty as Dr. Malti Ram.
Every character is well-etched and the actors leave an imprint on your mind with their earnest performances. That's all because the script is so tight and well-packaged with the right amount of seriousness, drama and light-hearted moments.
Visually, the film is dark and intense. It has a brooding feel that makes you uncomfortable and the film, appealing. Ewan Mulligan's cinematography is flawless. Every frame is impressive as it captures the beauty of the locales and the miseries of the downtrodden with equal fervour. The uninterrupted shot of a sewage cleaner dunking himself into an overflowing, murky drain, is the one image that sticks with you forever.
The soundtrack of the film is another highlight. The songs which include one of Bob Dylan's numbers along with the background score, mesh seamlessly into the narrative. Two songs bookend the narrative. The first number is a potent one that builds the momentum for great expectations.
Overall, this film is a brilliantly portrayed and hard-hitting eye-opener for society.