Tag Archives: kumud mishra

Article 15 (2019)

Article 15 Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

The most significant Indian Cinema of the last few decades!

My Ratings: 4.3/5

1949. Let us begin from the very beginning. A quick recap.

‘… shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of race, religion, caste, sex and place of birth.’ – Indian Constitution. Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar. Fundamental Rights. Right to Equality. Article 15.

Fast-forward to 2014. Badaun gang rape allegations –  a true incident that happened at Budaun district, Uttar Pradesh; two teenage girls went missing and the following morning they were found hanging from a tree. It was a case of gang rape and murder, which both the local police and the CBI tried their best to cover up. Why? Because the murdered girls were poor and belonged to the Dalit community (the untouchables). And the murderers were from the Upper-Class, the rich and the influential.

The film Article 15 directed by Anubhav Sinha (of Mulk fame) is based on the above mentioned tragedy. The movie also takes inspiration from a number of other incidents from across India where people are being humiliated on a daily basis, condemned and tortured, and denied justice just because they belong to a particular caste.

Agar sab barabar ho jaayenge toh raja kaun banega?” (If we all become equal, then who will be the king?)

Farq bahut kar liya, ab farq laayenge.

Ayushmann Khurrana (who has mastered the art of choosing great scripts) does a fabulous job portraying the man who is desperate to change the system by being a part of the system. Thankfully not portrayed as an outsider, otherwise the script shouldn’t have worked so well. Kumud Mishra, Ashish Verma – both play pivotal roles and plays them to perfection. Sayani Gupta and Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, though having limited screen time still manages to make an impact on the audience.

But Manoj Pahwa is the man who grabs the spotlight; his performance as the corrupt cop eager to derail the case is an absolute delight to watch!

Let’s be Indians firstly and lastly.

Special mention to Ewan Mulligan’s cinematography which brilliantly escalates the suspense and also gives the film the much needed feel of reality. Music by Mangesh Dhakde is so well balanced, just enough to maintain the intensity of the film.

Since Satyajit Ray‘s exquisite drama Sadgati (1981) starring Om Puri, Smita Patil and Mohan Agashe, hardly any other filmmaker have attempted to touch the sensitive subject of Caste-discrimination. And thus Article 15, a superbly directed social-thriller by Anubhav Sinha is surely the most significant Indian Cinema of the last few decades!

A film that dares to shed light over the sinister shadows of our civilisation, on the darkness that a nation unanimously prefers to ignore, on a curse that have been burning human lives for generations. Someone needs to put out the fire that torches the innocents, someone must heal the wounds, and put an end to this vintage shame. Someone must help us regain our faith in humanity!

But as Article 15 effectively points out – the real problem is that we are still waiting for that ‘someone’.

That someone needs to be Us.

Article 15 Trailer. YouTube.

P.S. According to the study of NCRB data on Caste Discrimination in India, the atrocities committed against SC and ST women are disturbingly high; statistics of the year 2016 alone shows 2541 rapes and 786 murders. That too, only half of these crimes are said to be officially reported.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Filmistaan (2014)

My Rating: 4/5

Hindustan … Pakistan … but … where is this Filmistaan!?

Filmistaan is actually a dream country where there are no boundaries, no religion, no politics, no caste – people only get together to enjoy the magic of cinema.

Debutant director Nitin Kakkar in his National Award Winning film Filmistaan has successfully created such a magical environment where the only thing that binds people together is their common love for films.

Pakistani militants hoping to kidnap some foreign film-makers by mistake take hostage of an Indian guy named Sunny (the assistant director of that same film crew).

Sunny aka Sukhwinder Arora (superbly enacted by Sharib Hashmi) is a major Bollywood buff, an aspiring actor and a super jovial fellow by nature.

Though kidnapped in Pakistan and unsure of his fate Sunny never sighs away from delivering cheesy filmy dialogues or from imitating famous Bollywood stars. A man with a genuine smile and a good heart he quickly become friends with the villagers especially with Aftab and his father (the people who sheltered him).

Aftab (Inaamulhaq) who is also crazy about Bollywood (by profession sells pirated dvds) promises his friend Sunny to help him escape from the clutches of the two on-guard Pakistani militants Mehmood (Kumud Mishra) and Jawaad (Gopal Dutt).

A thrilling attempt to reach the border of India, a special bond of friendship tested to its limits, a terrorist who chooses to become human first – a very entertaining film that portrays all that and much more.

What I love most about this film is that Filmistaan deals with pretty sensitive issues but always with a divine comic touch.

Be it the hilarious India-Pakistan cricket match episode or the comic making of the terrorist video; even the treatment of the stupid Pakistani Police force in the film, they are neither interested in Militant activities nor aware of the hostage situation – all they need is enough dvds of porn!

Filmistaan also raises the genuine issue of the depressing situation of Pakistani Entertainment industry. What is the use of talent if there isn’t any available platform to showcase it? In Pakistan people thrive only on Bollywood films. Actors, singers and other talented performers have no other option but to come to India for work.

But again if you see in a positive way Filmistaan as a film is a celebration of one of the biggest film industry in the world – Bollywood.

In Pakistan when films like Maine Pyar Kiya and Kuch Kuch Hota hai are shown – people get so engrossed in the story, they love the actors and actresses, they simply adore the emotions. For those two-three hours people seize to belong to Pakistan or Hindustan – they only exist in their beloved magic world called Filmistaan.

The film ensures a completely innovative take on the India-Pakistan issue. Great acting performances overall; especially the dynamic, often hilarious Sharib Hashmi. Sensible music by Arijit Dutta and good camera work by Subhransu Das.

I enjoyed Filmistaan … hope you enjoy it too.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-0LWnz8Ut0