After my many interactions with Ayushmann Khurrana, I have come to the conclusion that he is a good man — one who is polite to people around him, especially the ones who work for him. He is a good star — one who seldom gets into controversies and respects time, especially that of the press. He is also a good actor, not great yet, but good for sure. There’s another thing that he is pretty good at — scripts. Article 15 is another one of the many right scripts that the actor has chosen and starred in. We all, of course, remember the entertainers that were Vicky Donor, Bareily Ki Barfi and Badhai Ho.
To be truthful, I was a little sceptical about Article 15. We have seen Ayushmann as the boy next door in his previous films but playing a man in khaki is a different ball game all together. More so when the names to match up to belong to Amitabh Bachchan from Zanjeer, Ajay Devgan from Gangaajal, Rani Mukherjee from Mardaani, Priyanka Chopra from Jai Gangaajal and of course Salman Khan from Dabangg. All of them played officers of the law in their own unique way but there was one similarity to all their characters — they were all sure. They knew what to do, were always in control even when things weren’t going their way right from the start.
Ayushmann’s Ayan Ranjan is an IPS officer. An urban lad now transferred in what he calls a punishment posting to Laal Gaon in UP. Do not google it, it’s fictional. The challenges though that this Gaon offers aren’t fictional at all. Casteism. An evil we all know of but can’t live (also an anagram of EVIL in this case) without. All those who think otherwise can raise their hands but let me assure you that you won’t find many.
So imagine the plight of a boy who is from the city, St Stephens educated and a new IPS officer who within 48 hours of his new posting is dragged into three rape cases and two murders. All of them are direct results of the caste divide. A delicate situation, one that can boil over at any point. Khuranna’s Ranjan handles it with the uneasiness of a newcomer while Ranjan’s Khuranna plays it with the confidence of a seasoned performer. He is aptly supported by the likes of Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa, Akash Dabhade, Mohammed Zeshan Ayub, Sayani Gupta and Ashish Verma.
Ewan Mulligan’s camerawork is gripping. He uses the winter fog to the story’s advantage and makes sure that both its eeriness and the irony isn’t lost on us. After Mulk, we weren’t expecting another gem from Anubhav Sinha so soon. While his narration falters in some places, especially the interactions between Ranjan and his wife, Sinha more than makes up for it with his humour and sarcasm. The scene where Ayan Ranjan and his troops discuss their caste laced political preferences is fantastic. The best line of the film though goes to Zeeshan Ayub — “Hum Kabhi Hari Jan Ho Jatey Hain, Kabhi Bahu Jan Ho Jatey Hain... Bas Jan Nahiin Ho Pa Rahey.”
Article 15 is an important film. It’s also a film that needs to be encouraged. It isn’t preachy and is very entertaining.
Also Anubhav, I forgive you for Ra One.Read More