Since man could capture moving pictures, cinema has proven itself to be the primary influencer in our life. The youth of the country not only watches movies and films for entertainment but also to gain inspiration. You cannot watch a movie without having criticised one aspect of it. Bollywood has been known for some evergreen classics, but they all followed the same storyline: romance, and good over evil.
But as time has progressed, so has the storylines. We’ve witnessed Bollywood’s recurring attempts at asking its audience important questions. Does God really exist or is He tiny fragment of our consciousness? If He loves us so much then why are we so afraid of him? Does constantly pressurizing a student motivating him or pushing him towards the edge of the terrace?
For the majority of our population, these questions struck a chord. The movies reach a wider audience if it showcases commonplace actors.
Article 15 has recently released and has collected an estimated amount of Rs 43.99 crores. It has received acclaimed reviews from critics all over the country. Apart from praises, it has also received some critical controversies but we will be coming to that later.
At one point, the movie tells us what Article 15 of our constitution is actually about, but let me further enlighten you on the topic before proceeding.
According to Article 15 of our constitution,
“(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to—
(a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or
(b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public.
(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.
(4) Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
(5) Nothing in this article or in sub-clause (g) of clause (1) of article 19 shall prevent the State from making any special provision, by law, for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes in so far as such special provisions relate to their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of article 30.”
For those who didn’t make the effort of reading the passages in italic, Article 15 basically states one of our Fundamental Rights – Rights to Equality. Unlike our Fundamental Duties, these are enforceable by law. If your rights are violated then you can approach a court of law.
But when in a society where monetary power overrules the constitution of the country, doing so is quite difficult. These acts of discriminating people based on their social category are still widely practised. Reformers have tried to bring a change in the unwritten rules of our society to only have received a kick.
About the movie
The movie addresses the socio-political situation of our country. After having watched the movie, you cannot deny the brilliance of it and the acting. Not just Ayushmann, but every actor who had been hired had outdone themselves. Six months of research has gone behind this movie. Each and every shot visually portrays the state of our country. According to Anubhav Sinha, “the film is an investigate drama where the audience too is an accused party.”
Stacey Prince has described the movie as “raw” and “gruesome” without “underplaying any issue.” Sreeparna Sengupta from Times of India said, “What works for the film is that it’s thought-provoking, hard-hitting while unflinchingly bringing to light burning social issues.”
Article 15 follows its ancestor, Mulk, when it comes to receiving positive comments from established media houses and the audiences. Which goes to show Anubhav Singh’s credentials as a director and a story-teller. He outdoes himself every time, coming up with one masterpiece after another.
But what good is a movie without little controversies surrounding it? The Karni Sena has threatened to stall the release of the movie at some places. Theatres have been broken into to stop the screening process. The Parshuram Sena declared that the movie shows Brahmins in a bad light, and reports of his effigies being burnt have surfaced.
According to the director, smart people would know what the movie wanted to say. It’s only a part of normalcy to get triggered by everything. Where’s the fun without considering a movie as a personal attack?
How far does the movie stray away from its constitutional counterpart?
It is of my unbiased view that the movie has portrayed the incidents that took place in real life. Apart from the heinous crimes committed against women, its chief focus has been the odd jobs being performed by the so-called lower castes. It’s funny if you consider how members belonging to the same caste have sub-divisions.