“Article 15.”… A well-intentioned, well-crafted drama about caste that needed to dig deeper

Posted on July 2, 2019

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Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article-15-movie-review-ayushmann-khurrana-baradwaj-rangan

Spoilers ahead…

O ne of the biggest challenges of writing for our cinema is in crafting the interval block, which should cap off everything that came earlier (it should be a mini-climax, so to speak), and also leave you with enough emotion to tide you across the break. Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15 does this beautifully. 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 the interval point, too, features a song: Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s Vande Mataram, tuned by Tagore. The lyrics celebrate the wonders of the motherland, and they serve as an ironic counterpoint to the action on screen, where a frustrated and angry cop pins up a copy of Article 15 of the Indian Constitution on a notice board. Article 15 prohibits discrimination of all kinds (the issue, here, is casteism), but this ideal is a galaxy away from the local reality in Lalgaon, Uttar Pradesh. I was reminded of Deewar, where Saare jahaan se achcha echoes over the young Vijay and his mother discussing how to get Vijay’s younger brother into school despite their poverty. When contrasted with the inequalities in our society, the rah-rah-ism of these anthems becomes a joke. Only, no one’s laughing.

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Hindi