The movie “Article 15” is based on the actual article 15 of Indian Constitution. It’s a fundamental right that prohibits discrimination by the state against any citizen on the basis of caste, race, religion, sex and place of birth.
Ayan Ranjan, a young IPS Officer, gets transferred to a remote village in Uttar Pradesh for speaking casually to his senior officer. Ayan is sharp and bright with the ambition to succeed in his work. He has a college girlfriend named Aditi. Ayushmann Khurrana (my favorite!) plays Ayan’s character, and Isha Talwar plays Aditi’s.
Ayan and Aditi don’t have a romantic relationship. Aditi is a social activist and likely a journalist. They have different approaches to social issues. From the start of the movie, they exchange brief phone conversations.
Ayan: “You want a hero, right?”
Aditi: “I don’t want a hero. I want someone who doesn’t wait for the hero…”
The statement seemed simple but had immense power. Ayan began his duty and soon witnessed mysterious happenings. Three young girls went missing, yet the local police refused to file a report for the case. He was told that villagers of lower caste should not be taken seriously; young boys and girls often eloped from home, returning after days or months. Two of the girls were found dead, while the third remained missing.
Ayan realized there was a dark side to the case. He couldn’t save the two girls, but he identified the third girl who was still missing. The young girls had worked as laborers and demanded a three-rupee increase in their daily wage (from 25 to 28). In response, the contractor and his people kidnapped them, tortured and raped them before hanging them alive from a tree.
Ayan uncovered how some policemen and political persons were trying to thwart his trust-worthy force. The movie also illustrates the discrimination lower caste people experience in their daily lives—many of them don’t even know Article 15 exists to protect them.
Expecting a complete social reform in two hours from brave and dutiful IPS officer Ayan is too much. You can expect what any normal human being could do with their best effort. I wouldn’y spoil the movie—go watch it!
There are scenes in the movie that will wrench your heart. It doesn’t have songs and dances, but it has a really good core message. Is it based on a true story or pure fiction? I don’t know… Many people interpret the movie from different political points of view. As a normal viewer, my takeaway is: “No matter how bad the situation is, you should always try to make things better; in other words, change begins with you.”
Now coming to what Aditi told Ayan…Ayan used to think that Aditi (or the world) wanted and needed someone with unnatural power and strength. But that’s not true. The world needs people who don’t look for someone else to save it, but use their own strength to do good.
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