The grim realities of caste discrimination come to light as an entitled but upright city cop ventures into India’s heartland to investigate a murder.
The movie is inspired by the 2014 Badaun gang rape allegations but the movie takes lot of cinematic liberties in the second half to have a somewhat happy ending. Its very bold of a mainstream Bollywood movie to talk about caste system though. Don’t remember the last time a mainstream Bollywood movie had anything to do with caste.
There is a scene inspired by the 2016 Una flogging incident but its of no consequence to the movie and its just glossed over. The scenes between Ayan and Aditi looked so tacky and unnecessary. Ayan even after having been suspended is somehow still able to investigate which is ridiculous.
According to this Scroll article “The father further complains that the CBI field officers deployed to work on his case were all residents from villages situated near Katara. “Field Officer Arvind Singh who is investigating our case has his relatives spread all around this area.” But the movie shows the corrupt CBI officer as a South Indian which seems malicious.
The story/screenplay is by Anubhav Sinha and Gaurav Solanki. Its good for half of it but it falters in the second half. Background score by Mangesh Dhadke is very good. The movie is beautifully shot by Ewan Mulligan.
Ayushmann Khurrana is good as IPS officer Ayan. Isha Talwar is ok as Aditi in a unnecessary role. Sayani Gupta is good as Gaura. Kumud Mishra is good as ever as the lower caste cop. Manoj Pahwa is very good as the cop Bhramadatt Singh. Nassar is ok as the CBI officer Panikar. Ronjini Chakraborty is good as the lady doctor. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub is good as Nishad. Veen is good as Anshu. Sushil Pandey is good as Nihal Singh. Eza Sumbul Touqeer is good as Amali, Nihal Singh’s sister.
Anubhav Sinha’s direction is good in some parts. He raises the right questions but is unable to follow through with a powerful climax and ending. The climax and ending is such a cop out with the cops also being involved in the gang-rape. Its something that you expect from a regular commercial film. Article 15 is still a decent watch but it could have been way more.