Article 15 ★★★★

Subject matter aside, it's just such a refreshment everytime to see Indian directors use a camera in it's full functionality to tell a story. The grainy vignette frames are used as a tool to portray the psyche of our unaware protagonist. Anubhav Sinha's 'Article 15' is a gut wrenching story of class divide that proves to be an essential viewing.

Ayushmann Khurrana plays Ayan Ranjan, a foreign return IPS officer who is sent to Laalgaon as a punishment for responding to his superior with "cool, sir". He is not your Singham type saviour and neither is he a low-key criminal like Chulbul Pandey. He is introduced casually with a Bob Dylan protest song in the background instead of some stylish guitar riffs and slow-mo. It's 2019 and high time since we had a protagonist who is aware of his privileges and doesn't want to be one suffering from a "white saviour" complex. He can't be a hero, but he isn't one to wait for heroes. Sayani Gupta, Mohammed Zeishaan Ayyub, Kumud Mishra and countless other supporting actors are in fact the true unsung warriors of the battle here. We see the unfolding of a true crime noir and the deep rooted caste system of UP through the eyes of Ayan. We get a sense of who might be in the grey shades but it isn't cleared up as long as our protagonist isn't sure. Anubhav Sinha has come a long way from making movies like 'Dus', 'Cash' and 'Ra.One' to grim social dramas like 'Mulk' and 'Article 15'. It's almost unbelievable that he is among the top tier of Bollywood and his new movie has the potential to be a modern classic that sets new narrative tropes and framing techniques to inspire an entire generation of "social" filmmakers.

One misplaced "vande maataram" song doesn't affect how gripping and impactful 'Article 15' aims to be. This is a movie that realises a fictional resolution doesn't have any impact on the lives of thousands of people paying to know about something they have already been taught. Instead Sinha asks you to just for once check your own privileges before degrading anyone.

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