Ayushmann Khurrana-Anubhav Sinha's Article 15 trailer breakdown
Supposedly based on the 2014 Badaun gang rape allegations, the film probes the violent manifestations of India's deep caste divide
The brutal rape and murder of two teenage girls in Uttar Pradesh leads Ayushmann Khurrana on a harrowing investigation in the trailer of Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15. Supposedly based on the 2014 Badaun gang rape allegations, the film probes the violent manifestations of India’s deep caste divide.
“You and I are invisible to them,” begins a voiceover in the trailer, lamenting how people belonging to lower castes are termed harijans and bahujans but never given the position of ‘jan’ (human). A visual of a BR Ambedkar statue, soaking in the rain, accompanies these words.
As the trailer builds on, we get a sense of the case at hand: two girls belonging to a Dalit family are found hanging from a tree, while a third is deemed missing. Ayushmann, who plays the role of an IPS officer, is briefed by a local policeman (Manoj Pahwa) that it’s a case of honour killing, even as another officer (Kumud Mishra) suggests the case might be false. It is soon learnt that the reason the girls were killed was because they were demanding a hike of three rupees in their daily wages. “They were hanged so that the entire caste remembers their aukaat (status),” Ayushmann says toward the end, drawing a blank look from Nassar, who plays a police chief.
The film boasts an intense texture and colour palette, held up by Anurag Saikia’s suspenseful score. Some humour is found in the scene where Ayushmann is befuddled by the hierarchies in the Varna system, which comprises hundreds of castes and sub-castes.
Produced by Zee Studios and Beneras Media Works, Article 15 is scheduled for release on June 28. The film will have its world premiere at the London Indian Film Festival next month. Besides the aforementioned actors, the film also stars Isha Talwar, Sayani Gupta, Ashish Verma and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub.
Anubhav Sinha’s last directorial venture was Mulk, starring Taapsee Pannu and Rishi Kapoor.