Open main menu

Article 15 (film)

Article 15 is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language crime drama film[2] written by Gaurav Solanki and Anubhav Sinha and directed by Sinha.[5] The film was produced by Sinha under the banners Zee Studios and Benaras Media Works. It stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Nassar, Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra, Isha Talwar, Sayani Gupta, Veen Harsh and Sumbul Touqeer, and follows a police investigation that commences after three teenage girls go missing from a small village.

Article 15
Article 15 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAnubhav Sinha
Produced byAnubhav Sinha
Zee Studios
Written byGaurav Solanki
Anubhav Sinha
StarringAyushmann Khurrana
Manoj Pahwa
Kumud Mishra
Isha Talwar
Sayani Gupta
Music bySongs:
Anurag Saikia
Piyush Shankar
Devin Parker
Mangesh Dhakde
CinematographyEwan Mulligan
Edited byYasha Ramchandani
Benaras Media Works
Zee Studios
Distributed byZee Studios
Release date
  • 28 June 2019 (2019-06-28)[1]
Running time
130 minutes[2]
Budget29 crore[3][better source needed]
Box officeest. 93.08 crore[4]

The film deals with Article 15 of the Constitution of India, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.[6] While not based on one specific event, the film is inspired by multiple true life events including 2014 Badaun gang rape allegations and 2016 Una flogging incident.[7][8] Principal photography began on 1 March 2019 in Lucknow.[9] The film's soundtrack was composed by Anurag Saikia, Piyush Shankar, Devin Parker and Gingger with lyrics written by Rashmi Virag, Shakeel Azmi, Slow Cheeta, Dee MC, Kaam Bhaari and Spit Fire, and released under the banner Zee Music Company.

Article 15 was the opening film for the 10th edition of London Indian Film Festival, premiering on 20 June 2019.[10][11] It was theatrically released in India on 28 June 2019. The film received positive reviews from critics for the sensitive portrayal of its subject matter.[12] Article 15 has grossed over 93.08 crore (US$13 million) worldwide to become a commercial success.


The film begins with a group of villagers in Laalgaon engaged in a song while two Dalit girls are trapped in a school bus and are raped by a few men. Ayan Ranjan, a St. Stephen's College, Delhi graduate and an Indian Police Service officer, is recently posted to Laalgaon as the Additional Superintendent of Police and is warmly welcomed by officers Brahmadutt Singh and Jatav. He is introduced to the caste discrimination that exists in that village when he stops to buy a bottle of water from a local shop to which an officer tells him that they are not allowed to have their water as the shop belongs to people belonging to a lower caste. He faces a similar situation at his welcome party where he is given a fresh plate to eat while trying to eat from Jatav's plate and relays this information to his wife, Aditi.

Ayan also meets his college friend Satyendra Rai, who seems very fidgety and uncomfortable around Ayan, though the latter claims they were close friends in college. The very next day, it is shown that the two girls who were raped in the bus have been hanged from a tree, while the third girl Pooja is still missing. Ayan orders Brahmadutt to file a FIR and to obtain the postmortem report for the deceased girls. Brahmadutt tells Dr. Awdhesh, a postmortem doctor, to fake the report saying that the girls were too intimate and as a result of the shame, their fathers hung them. Due to the absence of Dr. Awdhesh, his assistant Dr. Malti Ram does the postmortem for the bodies. During the postmortem examination of the bodies, she finds out that the girls were gang raped, but is stopped and coaxed by Brahmadutt to not only delay the report but also to write that the girls were murdered and not raped so that the case becomes that of honour killing. Meanwhile, Jatav and his men are threatened and their jeep is burned by men of Nishad, the leader of a revolutionary gang in order to get speedy justice. On questioning Jatav, Ayan realises the gravity of the situation and decides to dig deeper in this case until the victims gets justice. Brahmadutt is furious with Jatav as he is trying to close the case at the earliest and persuades Ayan to do so as well on the pretext that the case is false. It is only when Gaura, the sister of one of the girls and the would-be to Nishaad, informs him that they used to work for a local builder named Anshu Naharia and had recently asked for an increase in their salary by just Rs. 3 that the investigation gets more serious. Ayan decides to call Anshu for inquiry even though Bhramadutt persuades him not to do so. During interrogation Anshu says that the girls were punished so that the entire caste would be reminded of their status. On asking them about their status, he replies, "Their status is what we give them". This deeply disturbs Ayan as he gets to see the loopholes behind the political system. He promptly decides to "un-mess" the mess and the very next morning, he puts the Article 15 of the Indian Constitution on the billboard as a reminder to all the police officers to first and foremost be Indians and that any kind of caste discrimination is a criminal offence and continues to probe into the case.

Ayan meets with Dr. Malti Ram and finds out that contrary to the report, the girls were raped and then murdered. He asks her to go to Lucknow to examine the DNA samples and to contact only him, realizing the higher-ups are hand in glove with Anshu Naharia's father, Ramlal Naharia, a Minister. Meanwhile, Mahantji, a Brahmin by caste, has formed an alliance with the head of the Dalit community Shanti Prasad, which is opposed vehemently by Nishaad and he organizes a protest against this.

Ayan meets with Nishaad to request him to stop the protest so that they get more men to search for Pooja. Nishaad refuses, saying that Mahantji and Shanti Prasad are doing this for their own benefits. He says that the protests will continue but allows some men to go so as the search to continue. Ayan gets a call from Dr. Malti who confirms that Anshu was the one who gang-raped and murdered the two girls. Ayan gets an arrest warrant for Anshu and goes to his house to arrest him. Anshu, however, is not at home and is safe with Brahmadutt. Brahmadutt is revealed to be one among the rapists and in order to save himself, kills Anshu.

Ayan, along with Jatav and other policemen, cross a filthy swamp in order to enter the jungle on the other side, where Pooja could be hiding. Meanwhile, Nishaad is arrested by the police and is taken away in a van. This turns out to be an encounter where he is killed, to the chagrin of Gaura and Jatav, revealed to be a fellow Dalit.

Meanwhile, Panicker interrogates Ayan regarding the evidence submitted and suspends him. However, Ayan gets to know where Satyendra is, who was missing for a while and gets him to talk. Anshu Naharia had hosted a party and Brahmadutt and Nihal Singh, a fellow policeman, were invited. They got very drunk and in their drunken stupor, raped the two girls taking turns and hung them from the tree to avoid suspicions. However, Satyendra refuses to be a witness and runs away. Ayan confronts Nihal Singh, who asks him not to tell his sister Amali, who works at Ayan's house, to tell what he did, and due to remorse and regret over his actions, Nihal Singh commits suicide. Ayan, however, relays this news to Amali, sister of Nihal Singh who breaks down, crying uncontrollably.

Jatav arrests Brahmadutt on Ayan's command, who assaults him and insults him. Jatav slaps him and sends him to jail. Ayan submits all the evidence to the Home Minister, who encourages Ayan to continue his investigation. Finally, they manage to cross the swamp and find Pooja hiding in a pipe. They rescue her and with her statement, Brahmadutt gets eleven years of imprisonment as punishment. Mahantji wins the election hands down. Ayan and all the policemen buy rotis from a lady at a roadside eatery. The film ends with Ayan asking the lady her caste, which isn't heard due to the blare of a passing lorry's horn, and other policeman laughing over it, indicating that their reform.



The storyline of the film is based on the socio-political situation of the country, post independence time drawing inferences from true-life events researched over the last 6 months, akin to Mulk.[13] Giving details on Article 15 Anubhav Sinha stated that "this film is an investigative drama where the audience too is an accused party ... A very challenging film that needed an extraordinary actor like Ayushmann."[6]


The filming started on 1 March 2019 in Lucknow.[9][14] During filming on 14 March 2019, Khurrana the leading star of the film, and the team entered into swamp filled with leeches to shoot scenes of the film. He shared picture of the team on twitter.[15] The shooting of the film was completed in the first half of April 2019.[16]

Marketing and releaseEdit

The lead actor of the film Ayushmann Khurrana shared the first look of the film on twitter on 6 March 2019.[17] First look poster of Khurrana in the film was released on 27 May 2019. It also bears the release date of the film.[18] The poster have tag line at top that reads as, "Farq bahut kar liya, ab farq laayenge" (Enough of the differentiations, it is time to bring about a difference.)[19] Later the same day the teaser of the film was released on YouTube by Zee Music Company.[20] The teaser got 8.3 million views since its release.[21] The official trailer of the film was released on 30 May by Zee Music Company.[22] The trailer of Article 15 was attached with Salman Khan's starrer film Bharat.[23]

The teaser of the song "Shuru Karein Kya" was released on 7 June.[24][25] The video of song was released on 11 June.[26] The jukebox was released on 14 June.[27]

Article 15 has been selected as opening film for the 10th edition of London Indian Film Festival to be premiered on 20 June.[11] It was released in India on 28 June 2019.[1]


Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 89% based on eighteen reviews, with an average rating of 7.56/10.[28] Article 15 generally received critically acclaimed reviews from critics.[12]

Anna M. M. Vetticad of Firstpost concurred with Sengupta and Sharma, gave four and a half stars out of five and found 'Sinha's unfaltering direction' was backed by Ewan Mulligan's 'unsparing cinematography' and a 'strong cast'. Concluding, she wrote, "Watching this film is an overwhelming emotional experience," and she opined, 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..."[29] Raja Sen writing for Hindustan Times rated the film with four and a half star out of five and opined that the film is a tribute to Alan Parker the director of 1988 film Mississippi Burning. He praised Solanki and Sinha for honest writing, haunting shots by Mulligan and performances of ensemble. Ending his writing, he said, "Article 15 is not a film in search of easy answers. Instead, it is a reminder that we already know the questions but don't ask them enough. 'Not cool, sir'."[30] Vijayalakshmi Narayanan of Radio City gave the film four and a half stars out of five, and said "Coming to the cast, Ayushmann leads from the front and one cannot be thankful enough. The actor proves his mettle yet again when it comes to backing good scripts. He makes the right noise even in his moments of melancholy."[31]

Sreeparna Sengupta of The Times of India gave the film four stars out of five, praising performance of Ayushmann Khurrana, Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, and background music and cinematography of Ewan Mulligan as well. She felt that Sinha had given another dimension to narrative by surfacing the artful shades through the characters and setting. She opines, "Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15 is designed like a crime thriller. What works for the film is that it’s thought provoking, hard hitting while unflinchingly bringing to light burning social issues." Concluding, she wrote that the film is not a 'light watch', rather it is 'definitely relevant', 'compelling' and will start a debate.[32] Devesh Sharma reviewing for Filmfare rates the film with four stars out of five. He praised screenplay, dialogues and cinematography of the film apart from performance of Khurrana and supporting cast. He recommends watching the film for its 'riveting performances' and its 'underlying message', and opines that the film presents the candid truth about the contemporary society. Quoting Jack Nicholson’s character from A Few Good Men -- “You can’t handle the truth” he hopes that the audience goes out to watch the film and 'learns to handle the truth...'[33] Priyanka Sinha Jha of CNN-News18, praising Khurrana and ensemble of Kumud Sharma, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, and M Nassar for their performances, rates the film with four stars out of five. Agreeing with Vetticad she writes, "Article 15 is remarkable in that it does not pontificate. It merely holds up the mirror to a society still entangled in age-old caste politics that absolutely overrides the modern ideals of liberty and equality." Concluding, she opines that Sinha has knack of combining elements of popular film-making with realistic story-telling to give masterful films.[34] Writing for the NDTV Saibal Chatterjee, termed it a 'radical' film, tackling social issues. He praised Sinha and Gaurav Solanki for the screenplay and cast for effective performances. He concludes the review as, "[The film] 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."[35]

Mayur Sanap of Deccan Chronicle rated it four stars out of five and finds it a 'gripping social thriller'. He commended the performances and script, and concludes, "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."[36] Manjusha Radhakrishnan of Gulf News gave four stars out of five, and felt that the film was not easy to watch, however everyone should give it a chance. She opined, "Article 15 sobers you up instantly, but it also makes you think about Indian’s complicated social segregation based on accident of birth."[37] Lakshana N Palat of India Today rated it with three and a half stars out of five, praised the performances of cast and felt that the film's 'overtly optimistic ending' was not in tune. According to him, despite rough around the edges and flawed in storytelling, it is worth watching. Agreeing with Sengupta, he opines, "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."[38] Bollywood Hungama rated the film three and a half stars out of five and praised Mulligan for cinematography, Nikhil Kovale for production design, Sinha and Solanki for story and screenplay. He commended performances of ensemble and direction of Sinha and felt that the look of the film was 'quite rich' and 'haunting' and that worked. He sumed up the review as, "On the whole, ARTICLE 15 is a hard-hitting film that raises some important issues related to caste, that are plaguing the country."[39] Kunal Guha of Mumbai Mirror rated the film with three stars out of five and felt that it reminded of hateful atrocities, and wrote, "The film, however, gets a bit tiring in parts when the message seems to be incessantly hammered down." However, he praised the performances of ensemble.[40]

Box officeEdit

Article 15 had the opening day collection of 5.02 crore and opening weekend worldwide gross of 30.75 crore. In the opening week the film grossed 47.62 crore worldwide. With gross of 77.62 crore from India and 13.78 crore from overseas, as of 31 July 2019, the film has grossed 91.70 crore worldwide.[4][41]


Article 15
Soundtrack album by
Anurag Saikia, Piyush Shankar, Devin Parkar and Gingger
Released14 June 2019 [42]
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelZee Music Company
Anurag Saikia chronology
Article 15
External audio
  Audio Jukebox on YouTube

The music of the film is composed by Anurag Saikia, Piyush Shankar, Devin Parker and Gingger while lyrics are written by Rashmi Virag, Shakeel Azmi, Slow Cheeta, Dee MC, Kaam Bhaari and Spit Fire. The Times of India based Debarati S Sen, in her review, said the album is "a fine example of original songs finding its way back into the Hindi film industry".[43]

Track listing
1."Naina Yeh"Rashmi ViragPiyush ShankarYasser Desai, Akanksha Sharma5:29
2."Intezari"Shakeel AzmiAnurag SaikiaArmaan Malik5:08
3."Intezari" (Unplugged)Shakeel AzmiAnurag SaikiaAyushmann Khurrana4:46
4."Intezari" (Asees Version)Shakeel AzmiAnurag SaikiaAsees Kaur4:35
5."Kahab Toh"Shakeel AzmiAnurag SaikiaSayani Gupta3:12
6."Shuru Karein Kya"Slow Cheeta, Dee MC, Kaam Bhaari, Spit FireDevin Parker, GinggerSlow Cheeta, Dee MC, Kaam Bhaari, Spit Fire3:45
Total length:26:55

Home mediaEdit

The film became available as VOD on Netflix in August 2019.[44]


  1. ^ a b "Ayushmann Khurrana starrer 'Article 15' gets release date". Business Standard. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b "ARTICLE 15". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Article 15 - Movie - Box Office India".
  4. ^ a b "Article 15 Box Office". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  5. ^ "I Believe Caste System Must Be Eradicated: Ayushmann on Article 15". The Quint. 31 May 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Details About Ayushmann Khurrana's Next FilmArticle 15 By Mulk Director". NDTV. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  7. ^ "'Article 15' teaser: Ayushmann Khurrana's film on Badaun gangrape and murder is haunting". DNA India. 27 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Ayushmann Khurana's next 'Article 15' is inspired by true events!". Times of India. 25 May 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  9. ^ a b Taran Adarsh [@taran_adarsh] (6 March 2019). "IT'S OFFICIAL... Ayushmann Khurrana in Anubhav Sinha's next film #Article15... Costars Isha Talwar, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub... Filming commenced on 1 March 2019 in #Lucknow... Ayushmann's look from the film:" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  10. ^ Singh, Raghuvendra (10 May 2019). "Article 15 to be screened at the London Indian Film Festival". Filmfare. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Ayushmann Khurrana's Article 15 to be screened at London Indian Film Festival 2019; Know more". India TV. 10 May 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Article 15 movie review and rating: Critics' verdict on Ayushmann Khurrana's film". IB Times. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  13. ^ "FIRST LOOK: Ayushmann Khurrana to play police officer in Anubhav Sinha's investigative drama titled Article 15". Bollywood Hungama. 6 March 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  14. ^ "When Ayushmann Khurrana discussed Article 15 with Taapsee Pannu at the Delhi airport". Times Now News 18. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Ayushmann Khurrana steps into leech-filled swamp for Article 15 shoot, says team willing to bleed for Anubhav Sinha". Hindustan Times. 15 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Ayushmann Khurrana wraps up Article 15, Anubhav Sinha gifts him a miniature model. See pic". Hindustan Times. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  17. ^ Ayushmann Khurrana [@ayushmannk] (6 March 2019). "#Article15 #firstlook shoot begins with @anubhavsinha" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Taran Adarsh [@taran_adarsh] (27 May 2019). "Teaser out today... Ayushmann Khurrana in the first look poster of #Article15... Costars Isha Talwar, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub... Directed by Anubhav Sinha... 28 June 2019 release." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "'Article 15': Ahead of the teaser release, Ayushmann Khurrana unveils a new poster of the film". Times of India. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Article 15 Teaser is a Hard-Hitting Reminder of the Forgotten Values of Indian Constitution". News18. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Article 15 - Teaser | Ayushmann Khurrana | Anubhav Sinha | Trailer on 30th May". YouTube. Zee Music Company. 27 May 2019.
  22. ^ "Article 15 - Trailer | Ayushmann Khurrana | Anubhav Sinha". YouTube. Zee Music Company. 29 May 2019.
  23. ^ "Ayushman Khurrana's 'Article 15' trailer to appear with Salman Khan starrer 'Bharat'". Times of India.
  24. ^ "Shuru Karein Kya - Song Teaser|Article 15| Ayushmann K, Slow Cheeta, Dee MC, Kaam Bhari, Spit Fire". YouTube. Zee Music Company. 7 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Article 15 song Shuru Karein Kya teaser: Kaam Bhaari, SlowCheeta join Ayushmann Khurrana in his fight for justice". Hindustan Times. 8 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Shuru Karein Kya - Article 15 | Ayushmann Khurrana, SlowCheeta, Dee MC,Kaam Bhaari,Spitfire | 28June". YouTube. Zee Music Company. 11 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Article 15 - Full Movie Audio Jukebox | Ayushmann Khurrana | Anubhav Sinha". YouTube. Zee Music Company. 14 June 2019.
  28. ^ "ARTICLE 15". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  29. ^ M. M. Vetticad, Anna (27 June 2019). "Article 15 movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana's restraint fits this gutsy, overwhelming take on Dalit abuse". Firstpost. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  30. ^ Sen, Raja (28 June 2019). "Article 15 movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana stands tall in this essential film about cops and caste. 4.5 stars". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  31. ^ "Article 15". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  32. ^ Sengupta, Sreeparna (26 June 2019). "ARTICLE 15 MOVIE REVIEW". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  33. ^ Sharma, Devesh (27 June 2019). "Movie Review: Article 15". Filmfare. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  34. ^ Sinha Jha, Priyanka (27 June 2019). "Article 15 Movie Review: Ayushmann Khurrana and Anubhav Sinha Hold Up a Mirror to Modern India". CNN-News18. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  35. ^ Chatterjee, Saibal (27 June 2019). "Article 15 Movie Review: Ayushmann Khurrana Leads An Effective Cast In This Radical Film". NDTV. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  36. ^ Sanap, Mayur (26 June 2019). "Article 15 movie review: A topical, intelligent and compelling affair". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  37. ^ Radhakrishnan, Manjusha (27 June 2019). "'Article 15' film review: A bold tale on India's caste divide". Gulf News. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  38. ^ N Palat, Lakshana (28 June 2019). "Article 15 Movie Review: Ayushmann Khurrana film makes you uncomfortable". India Today. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  39. ^ "Article 15 Movie Review". Bollywood Hungama. 26 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  40. ^ Guha, Kunal (27 May 2019). "Article 15 movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana, Isha Talwar-starrer serves as a bitter reminder of disdainful atrocities". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  41. ^ "Bollywood Top Grossers Worldwide Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  42. ^ "Article 15 - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Jio Saavn.
  43. ^ "Music review: Article 15 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  44. ^ "Article 15". Netflix. August 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2019.

External linksEdit