Anubhav Sinha and Article 15 (Photo Credit: Instagram)
Anubhav Sinha’s 2019 Bollywood outing, Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Article 15 that dealt caste privilege and discrimination opened to much acclaim, as well as protests by fringe organisations. Movie critics argued about the gaze and questioned the filmmaker’s choice of making its hero, also the saviour a Brahmin. A few day before the release of his film Thappad that deals with domestic violence rampant in Indian households, Sinha addressed all the claims and called the film’ a compromised vision’ to reach a greater audience.
In conversation with journalist Anupama Chopra, Sinha talked about the ‘cheese’ he puts in his unconventional content to make it mainstream. Sinha affirmed that the cheese was indeed required to make his content ‘palatable’ , so that not just critics but a lager mass appreciates and watch the movie. ‘I wouldn’t make Mulk or Article 15 if it did not penetrate into the next layer’said Sinha.
Speaking about the climax of Article 15 where Ayushmann’s character succeeds in finding the lost girl and walks out with her in his arms, Sinha said that a ‘compromise’ for him. He however, reasoned why he made the compromise as ‘Creating a hero allowed me to say a whole lot more in the film.”
Sinha agreed to the criticism over portrayal of an upper caste man as the hero. “A lot of people did have a problem with the gaze of the film, and I agree with them. I don’t disagree with them. But that allowed the film to reach out to 70-80 lakh people in theatres and add so much more on OTT.” He said that his decision to not make the character a sole hero, and have him surrounded by a team was as far as he could push it.
Ayushmann Khuranna too in a separate interview opined that had Article 15 had a satiric twist to it than being dark and serious in tone , like his other movies, it would have reaped more commercial gains at the box office.
Apart from Article 15 and Thappad, Sinha helmed Mulk starrimg Taapsee Pannu, Rishi Kapoor, Pratik Babbar and dealt with religious bigotry.