Article 15

wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)

quick review:

Of course, it supports an ideology, has an agenda and is prejudiced. The real question is, would we be surprised if we read a page-7 headline of such an incident? Would we be shocked if we knew for sure it really happened? No, right? Exactly why such films need to be made.

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Director: Anubhav Sinha
Running time: 135 minutes
Genres: Social
More Movie Info

Article 15 - Preview

Caste politics + regular ol’ politics + honour killing + power + gender roles + gender power dynamics versus an exasperated, honest police officer played by Ayushman Khurana and directed by the director of Mulk. We know who we want to win.

But, this director’s filmography has been so varied that I checked whether there are two Anubhav Sinhas. Anyway, right now the dialogue, the story, the performances all make me want to watch the film. I am willingly keeping my apprehensions aside, which are few to begin with.

Article 15 releases on 28 June 2019.

- meeta, a part of the audience

It is always as delightful as it is painful to see a film that takes on a disgusting face of society while being well-made too. Not only is Article 15 shot, edited and acted out well, it is also written well while relentlessly staying on point and approaching the subject of casteism from various angles.

Since it is not preachy, we can hope that at least some people would reconsider their actions–even if it is as little and as symbolic as letting domestic help use the same glass as us.

The one element used to weave these facets is the death of two teenage girls and the search for another missing one. These three belonged to a so-called lower caste. And from this central story spew a web of situations that point out not only the pervasive oppression and the regular ol’ systemic misuse of power, but also the caste politics, the hypocrisy, the obliviousness of the privileged, the human nature which tends towards inhumanity when one feels they are not being watched, the sham that government schemes and reports can be, the existence of a conscience amidst this muck–to name a few.

Of course, it is complex, and you have to be alert to keep up with the names and the relationships. And it compounds as the second half picks pace. This also works because the connections are not always explained, you figure many of them out as the film progresses.

The viewing is made even more intense owing to a grim and grey atmosphere through the film. At times the atmosphere in the scenes seems so misty that you can’t make out if it is day or night. This got slightly annoying for me. At the same time though, some transitions between scenes play so well with the light that they make the mild irritation worth it.

Also, at most times, the unexpected details in writing kept my mind off the dull frames. Without being told explicitly, for instance, you know the two main women in the film are strong characters, who the men in the film need. Using chat conversations between two friends as a narrative tool also worked. And of course, the lines are as direct and impactful as they could be a part of normal conversation, making them even more brilliant.

Sure, the protagonist’s introspection could have gone a little deeper. It would also be fair to say that things fall in place too easily for him. Along similar lines, despite excellent usage of silence in some scenes and even though the use of folk songs makes up for it, the use of the national song as background music to showcase irony is wearisome. Some of the laughs seem slightly gratuitous too.

But then, they are delivered with such conviction that you can’t really complain for too long. In fact, from Manoj Pahwa to Kumud Mishra, from Sayani Gupta all the way to Ayushman Khurana, the cast gives you no reason to find fault or to distract yourself.

it is also written well while relentlessly staying on point and approaching the subject of casteism from various angles.

Owing to all the things done right, Article 15 engages you in its narrative even though it does not let the characters’ anger and frustration reach you deep within. Since it is not preachy, we can hope that at least some people would reconsider their actions–even if it is as little and as symbolic as letting domestic help use the same glass as us.

- meeta, a part of the audience

38 reviewers(?) - 34 yays 3 so-so 1 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Anna MM Vertticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Watching this film is an overwhelming emotional experience. Article 15 is the best that Indian cinema can be in these troubled times if it chooses to hold a mirror up to our society, compelling us to confront the worst that we are and the best that we can be when we are not busy saving our own skins.... full review

Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...Hence, though ARTICLE 15 might not be as impactful as Anubhav Sinha’s last venture MULK, its an equally significant film (getting the same rating) and deserves to be seen by both the young and the old realizing the mistakes they might be making in the future or might have been making since decades respectively.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rima Bhatia, Bolly Spice : ...Article 15 not a light-hearted film. There are precisely three points in the film where you laugh. The rest is sheer intensity. There are certain dialogues and visuals in the film that stay with you long after the film finishes. These are the signs I think of a film that is well thought out and executed. To the team of Article 15 – take a bow, it’s a job well done!... full review

Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, ARTICLE 15 is a hard-hitting film that raises some important issues related to caste, that are plaguing the country. At the box office, the powerful plot and brand Ayushmann will ensure that it gets decent footfalls in the multiplexes.... full review

Thumbs up, by Urmimala Banerjee, Bollywood Life : ...The year 2019 has had films speaking about class divide through some great story-telling. We saw that in Gully Boy and Sonchiriya. Anubhav Sinha's Article 15 is a great predecessor to these films and is one of the best of 2019! It is dark, disturbing, compelling and thought-provoking in equal measure. At heart, it is a brave well-crafted film made with honest and noble intentions. Kudos to the team!... full review

Thumbs up, by Aakanksha Navals, cineblitz : ...The film is a gritty and gripping drama that reflects the ugly truth of the society. There are some heart-wrenching moments that compel you to think of the conditions that some people are forced to live in and the value of their lives is non-existent. It is okay to feed a dog, but not okay to touch someone from the so-called lower caste. It is truly disturbing! The film pushes you to think along those lines and question them.... full review

Thumbs up, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...Whatever the minor quibbles, films like Article 15 and Sinha’s Mulk before it, bring out issues that should be highlighted more by mainstream cinema and force at least some in the audience to examine their biases. After all, it was in ‘cosmopolitan’ Mumbai that a young doctor, Payal Tadvi, was forced to commit suicide due to her colleagues’ caste-ist slurs.... full review

Thumbs up, by Mayur Sanap, Deccan Chronicle : ...Overall, 'Article 15' is a gripping social thriller anchored by excellent performances and a strong script that's rich in social commentary. With Anubhav Sinha's straightforward and unflashy directorial style, the film proves to be an effective drama. It may be devoid of spectacle, but it is still full of zeal and warrants a must watch.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...Ayushmann Khurrana lends the perfect balance of culture and culture-shock to Ayan. In many ways, this role, like Taapsee’s in Mulk, reflects his own rise as a smart no-nonsense outsider in the surname-heavy Hindi film industry. His “what the f*ck?” expression is organic. He always looks on the verge of exploding: a suppressed energy that informs Ayan’s dangerous dive into the heart of darkness. He is in charge but barely in control. The more he learns, the lesser the film becomes about him. Most importantly, Khurrana’s performance is such that it allows the story, in a daring leap of faith before the third act, to zoom out and reveal the macro narrative in which Laalgaon is just a dot.... full review

Thumbs up, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...In one scene, a man enters a gutter to unclog it and emerges drenched in filth. His work keeps our lives sanitised – literally and figuratively. Article 15 compels you to recognise this. And that is a considerable achievement.... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Watch the film for its riveting performances and its underlying message that even after 70 years as a free country, we’re still shackled to the chains of caste. Article 15 offers you the truth about today’s society without pulling any punches. But as Jack Nicholson’s character from A Few Good Men says -- “You can’t handle the truth.” We hope our audience goes out in droves to watch this important film -- and learns to handle the truth...... full review

Thumbs up, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...Ayushmann Khurrana's Article 15 holds a mirror to our society that's still grappling with caste disparities even after the birth of Indian Constitution.... full review

Thumbs up, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...I guess Sinha is aiming to hold out hope for a change from within. And why not? This is a must watch!... full review

Thumbs up, by Sanyukta Thakare, Free Press Journal : ...Overall, the film leaves an impression as a story, and as an art form to keep in mind for years to come. Article 15 is a guideline on how to present sensitive cinema.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vishal Verma, : ...ARTICLE 15 by Anubhav Sinha is the resilience of one man triggered by a tragedy faced by a particular community which in fact reminds the horrors and inhuman behavior of a certain section of humans towards a certain section of humans since centuries. It’s a reminder how the cruel caste and religion divide has resulted in countless souls beaten down, literally and metaphorically. Powerfully painful & soothingly healing, an empowering piece of cinema that offers hope and salvation that is so necessary in today’s time. Very highly recommended.... full review

Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Hindustan Times : ...Article 15 is not a film in search of easy answers. It is instead a reminder that we already know the questions, but don’t ask them enough. Not cool, sir.... full review

Thumbs up, by Lakshana N Palat, india today : ...All said and done, Article 15 might be rough around the edges and might have its fair share of flaws with regard to storytelling, but it is indeed a film to be watched. It's a start. It cannot change society but it at least can initiate a conversation and debate that examines the horrors that lurk in this very society, invisible to our privileged eyes.... full review

Thumbs up, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...To repeat, Sinha could have eschewed the Kashyap-Bhardwaj culture to connect with the audience in the “Mulk”-esque manner. That was one of the finest social films in contemporary Hindi cinema, and so was “Dus,” released way back in 2005, in the espionage genre. Here, we get an above-average film that rides on Sinha’s post-“Mulk” reputation, does not besmirch it, but cannot equal it. If the film does better than “Mulk” at the box-office, we will have to attribute its success more to the solid branding of Khurrana as a man who only stars in films that are worth watching for their freshness!... full review

Thumbs up, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...Make it worth your time, because if we don’t watch it, who will? The performances to watch out from come from Kumud Mishra and Manoj Pahwa, both of whom played significant roles in Mulk: it looks as if Sinha is building a repertory of good actors who add heft to whichever films they are in. And Nassar, as the officer who knows how not to rock the boat, is excellent.... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Article 15 makes a very strong statement without sugarcoating any facts. It screams what’s wrong, now who can hear it, that really depends on what kind of life you’re living. Another gem for Ayushmann Khurrana (after Andhadhun & Badhaai Ho) & Anubhav Sinha (after Mulk). A shocking yet necessary watch!... full review

Thumbs up, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...It’s a gut-kick of an image. Article 15 might not comfort the afflicted, but there’s every chance it will afflict the comfortable.... full review

Thumbs up, by Gayatri Nirmal, MiD DAY : ...With crisp editing and screenplay, Ayushmann Khurrana outshines as a cop. With a thick moustache and dressed like an Englishman, the actor justifies his character in every scene. Can watch the film with your family, friends and is for all age groups... full review

Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Sinha draws many of its plot elements from newspaper headlines of recent years, the principal one related to the 2014 Badaun gangrape and killing of two girls and the 2016 Una flogging of Dalit men and employs them methodically to probe caste and gender fissures and fault lines. It remains true to the demands of the plot without losing control over its principal purpose - administering a bitter pill with just a hint of a sugar coating. It works wonderfully well. Article 15 is a not to be missed film.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, : ...Article 15 isn’t just an important film, it's a powerful one and it’s superbly made. It comes at you all kicking and screaming, but this is a film that justifies its tone. Don’t miss it. I’m going with four out of five. It’ll rattle your core.... full review

Thumbs up, by Priyanka Sinha Jha, : ...Director Anubhav Sinha who has to his credit entertainers like Tum Bin, Dus and Ra.One has certainly found his groove with movies that qualify as social-issue-based commercial films. He combines elements of popular film-making with realistic story-telling and the result is an outstanding film. Mulk, which released last year made everyone sit up and take note of his work more seriously. With Article 15, Sinha compels us to ask for an encore.... full review

Thumbs up, by Manisha Lakhe, Now : ...An IPS officer from a privileged background is sent off to what is 'the wild wild West' part of rural India. Everything on the surface seems okay but underneath it all is a simmering cauldron of caste and crime. The film tackles the tensions well, has shades of 'Mulk' (made by the same filmmaker) but the predictability of a cop's dilemma - to go by the rule book or instinct - remains the same.... full review

Thumbs up, by Giridhar Jha, Outlook India : ...Article 15 is definitely a must watch foe everyone, especially for the way its central theme of the rampant caste divide has been treated. Anyone who found kabir singh's misogyny and toxic masculinity insufferable last week should head to a nearby theatre to detoxify himself.... full review

Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Planet Bollywood : ...Overall though, the film does more than just fitting in. It stands out, and takes a stand. Just for that Article 15 deserves a watch.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, : ...The background score works overtime alongside the writing to heighten the drama. The procedural bits are clumsy and give no indication of the timeline of the investigation. The track involving Ayan and his wife is a ham-handed attempt to leaven the heaviness. There is a bizarre moment when Ayushmann Khurrana takes off his shirt.... full review

Thumbs up, by Troy Ribeiro, Shrikant Shenoy : ...Overall, this film is a brilliantly portrayed, hard-hitting eye-opener. As a society, it is time to see our reflection and do the needful.... full review

Thumbs up, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Article 15 might be Ayan’s film but it’s Nishad’s tale that needs to be told urgently now as an accompanying piece. Days after watching the film the lasting image is that of Ayyub as Nishad, twirling his moustache like Chandra Shekhar Azad, saying “hum akhiri thode na hain”. He is not the last one to take on the oppression in this on-going hard fought battle.... full review

Thumbs up, by Shibaji Roychoudhury, Times Now : ...Overall, Article 15 is not going to be a pleasant watch – let me preface that first. But if you have the courage to accept the reality of this country and the ill-practices that we have been following for thousands of years, then the Ayushmann Khurrana’s film is a riveting experience. I promise you by the time you come out of the theatre, you will stop for a moment and think how gory and disgusting our practices are, and how shameful of a society we continue to be. Article 15 truly is a film that questions our constitution that promises right to equality but is rarely ever put into practice in this country.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sreeparna Sengupta,, Times of India : ...'Article 15' is not a light watch, but it is definitely relevant, compelling and a film that will spark conversation.... full review

Thumbs up, by Divyanshi Sharma, Zee News : ...After an intense 2 hour and 20 minutes, 'Article 15' ends on a light note, leaving a deeper impact.... full review

So-So, by Ankur Pathak, Huffington Post : ...As the film winds to a close, and justice — or at least the illusion of justice — is restored, there’s a scene where Khuranna stands tall and claps as his subordinates sit and give him adulatory glances.... full review

So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Sinha continues to stick to subjects that cover the concerns of the marginalised. In Mulk, he realised on screen the story of a Muslim family which was targeted on communal grounds. Here, writer Gaurav Solanki borrows from real events to draft a fictional account of a nerve-shattering crime. Without leaking any spoilers, the final reveal actually packs a surprising turn that deviates from the perceived motivation of the crime.... full review

So-So, by Sreehari Nair, Rediff : ...What Anubhav Sinha must accept is that he intuitively knows what this easily satiated audience, with its simplistic definitions, does not know: That Freedom is not a Protest Rap. Freedom is a Sad Ballad.... full review

Thumbs down, by Kamaal R Khan, Khaleej Times : ...The film is dark and poor in appearance. There is nothing to lookout for, not even a bit of thrill. It all sums up as a waste of time, energy and money for the viewers. Above all this, there is no entertainment value - no romance, heroine, action nor music. Even the locations are poor and grim. The film gives a dull feeling as most of the filming is done in the dark. Perhaps the director feels that the UP police work only in the night!... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 1 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Simran

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Rape is mentioned often, implied off-screen too. Manual scavenging is shown. People being tied to a car and flogged.
  • Language: Profanity used at times
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Rape mentioned often and implied off-screen too
  • Concept: Rampant practice of inequality and the associate frustration
  • General Look and Feel: Grey, grim, gruesome.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Article 15 - Cast, crew, links

Background Score:
Music Director:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
135 minutes

Comments (2)

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Stunned, inspired & in a stupor after watching Article15 It’s the BRAVEST mainstream Hindi film of this decade.

@Simran indeed

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