Anubhav Sinha admits Article 15 was compromised: ‘Creating a hero allowed me to say more’

Hindustan Times | By
Feb 27, 2020 11:33 AM IST

Thappad director Anubhav Sinha has said that he was forced to make compromises in his film Article 15, particularly in one shot.

Director Anubhav Sinha has said that his film Article 15 was a compromised vision. The filmmaker was joined by his colleagues Dibakar Banerjee, Vetrimaaran, Nandita Das and Nagraj Manjule in a conversation with journalist Anupama Chopra.

Ayushmann Khurrana in a still from Article 15.
Ayushmann Khurrana in a still from Article 15.

Asked about the ‘cheese’ that he adds to his films to make them more mainstream, Anubhav said, “Cheese is a very thin layer of certain compromises you make to make it more palatable.” He added, “I wouldn’t make Mulk or Article 15 if it did not penetrate into the next layer. There’s no point in Anupama liking Article 15 and the people not liking it.”

Mulk dealt with religious bigotry, while Article 15 addressed casteism in Indian society. Anubhav’s next film, Thappad, talks about domestic violence.

Also Watch | Taapsee Pannu and Anubhav Sinha talk about Thappad at HT Imagine fest

Also read: Thappad movie review: Taapsee Pannu film is a scorching indictment of everything that’s wrong with us

Speaking about one particular moment in Article 15 that he is still conflicted about, the filmmaker continued, “That shot of the upper caste hero, walking with the Dalit girl in his arms, according to me, was a compromise, which I had to make. Creating a hero allowed me to say a whole lot more in the film.” The director was referring to a moment towards the end of the film, when Ayushmann Khurrana’s policeman character rescues a kidnapped young girl. The film’s portrayal of an upper caste man as the hero was met with conflicted reception.

Anubhav agreed with this. “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 in a recent interview said that if Article 15 had been satirical in tone, it would have made Rs 100 crore at the box office, as opposed to the Rs 65-odd crore it ended up making.

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