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Meet the STARS of Article 15

July 04, 2019 15:23 IST

India's caste system rears its ugly presence in Anubhav Sinha's well-received Article 15.

Apart from its rousing commentary on the sickening degree of social hierarchy, following the brutal rape and murder of two Dalit girls, the crime thriller also puts together a superb ensemble of actors to make its point.

Article 15 just wouldn't be the same in these magnificent actors's absence.

Sukanya Verma presents an appreciation post for the cast of this must-watch movie.

 

Ayushmann Khurrana plays Ayan Ranjan

The acting:

As the dynamic IPS officer infuriated by social disparities devaluing human life after he is posted in Lalgaon, a small town, to investigate a murky case, Ayushmann Khurrana delivers one of the most refined performances of his career.

The actor:

Having done a little bit of everything -- RJ, VJ, music and theatre -- Bollywood was just a matter of time for the Chandigarh boy. So he made his acting debut in Shoojit Sircar's Vicky Donor.

In less than a decade, the 34 year old has established himself as a force to reckon with through films like Dum Lagake Haisha, Shubh Mangal Savdhan, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Andhadhun and Badhaai Ho.

 

Kumud Mishra plays Jatav

The acting:

A well-meaning but reluctant sub-inspector too terrified of the system to oppose it until he knows better, Kumud Mishra is a picture of poignancy.

The actor:

Holding an acting diploma from Delhi's National School of Drama, Mishra's love for the performing arts led him to theatre, television stints (Zameen Aasman, Swabhimaan) and later, movies (Sardari Begum).

But his breakthrough came in Rockstar.

Airlift, Sultan, MS Dhoni and Mulk followed in quick succession and this brilliant actor hasn't looked back since.

 

Manoj Pahwa plays Brahmdutt

The acting:

There's more to Manoj Pahwa's seniority exerting, truth muffling and timid seeming anxieties than meets the eye. And Pahwa is frightening good in the role.

The actor:

Theatre, television, ads, movies, the Mulk actor has worked with everyone from Ram Gopal Varma and Sudhir Mishra to David Dhawan and Anees Bazmee in everything from drama to comedy in his several decades long career.

In case you didn't know already, he is married to actor and Hum Log star Seema Pahwa.

 

Ashish Verma plays Mayank

The acting:

Ashish Verma's down-to-earth manner is a perfect fit for Khurrana's diligent, sincere, PA (personal assistant).

The actor:

Delhi-born Verma made his debut in David Dhawan's forgettable remake of Sai Paranjype's Chasme Baddoor. It is his work in films like Gurgaon and Bhavesh Joshi Superhero that the Film and Television Institute of India graduate is likely to be proud of.

 

Sushil Pandey plays Nihal Singh

The acting:

What seems like a low-ranking policeman in a bystander's part for the longest time leaves us shell-shocked and shaken in Sushil Pandey's heartfelt delivery.

The actor:

After playing a bit part in Jab We Met, Sushil Pandey graduated to play somewhat key roles in Subhash Kapoor's Jolly LLB franchise.

 

Shubhrajyoti Bharat plays Chandrabhan

The acting:

It's not a lengthy part by Shubhrajyoti Bharat, playing Khurrana's constable driver, but he uplifts scenes at crucial junctures with his Maai-inspired wisdom.

The actor:

Besides acting in films like Rukh and Karwaan, Bharat left a lasting impression as Pankaj Tripathi's malevolent rival in Amazon Prime's series, Mirzapur.

 

Sayani Gupta plays Gaura

The acting:

Sayani Gupta flexes her acting chops as the Dalit woman looking for her missing sister and supporting her rebelling beau.

The actor:

The FTII graduate's first release, Second Shaadi Dot Com was a non-starter. Her subsequent contribution on the big screen (Margarita With a Straw, Jagga Jasoos, Jolly LLB 2) and small (Inside Edge, Four Second Shots Please) is worth a dekko.

 

Isha Talwar plays Aditi

The acting:

Isha Talwar's Aditi isn't the standard love interest and shoulder to cry on for the hero. She is both Khurrana's soundboard and his voice of conscience. A rather graceful Talwar plays her in just that spirit.

The actor:

The model-turned-actress was born into a film family. Her father Vinod worked as an executive producer on several of Boney Kapoor's productions including Hamara Dil Aapke Hai where she acted as Aishwarya Rai's kid sister.

Though she has starred in Malayalam movies since 2012, her Bollywood debut happened only in 2018's Kaalakandi.

 

Ronjini Chakraborty plays Dr Malti

The acting:

The doctor displaying courage and conscience in the face of looming threats, Ronjini Chakraborty's Dr Malti is all spunk and substance.

The actor:

Ronjini dabbled in Bengali cinema but received most attention for her mesmerising turn as Sohum Shah's mistress in Tumbbad. Some may also recall her blink-and-miss role as Sara Ali Khan's buddy in Simmba.

 

Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub plays Nishad

The acting:

Blazing with conviction and eloquence, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub is tailor-made to play a Dalit leader revolting against caste politics.

The actor:

The NSD grad got his break in No One Killed Jessica, but it is his portrayal of Dhanush's best friend in Raanjhanaa that made everyone sit up and take notice.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Raees rank among his other notable performances.

 

Nassar plays Panicker

The acting:

Arrogant, adamant, unreasonable, unrelenting, Nassar's high-grade CBI officer is a tough nut to crack; something Khurrana will learn the hard way.

The actor:

With over 300 credits in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada cinema, the veteran hardly needs an introduction.

Even the Hindi-speaking audience is well versed with his capabilities back from Bombay to Baahubali.

 

Veen Harsh plays Anshu Naharia

The acting:

The surprise package of Article 15. Veen Harsh's piercing gaze and composed dialogue is pitch perfect for contractor Anshu Naharia's sinister worldview.

The actor:

Chucking the corporate world to perform solo plays until he got his big break in Article 15, we hope to see more of this talented young man in the coming days.

 

Aakash Dabhade plays Satyendra Rai

The acting:

As Khurrana's college-time friend harbouring a dark secret, Aakash Dabhade's Satyendra is the right mix of desperation and cowardice.

The actor:

Dabhade's debut -- a Kundan Shah project opposite Mallika Sherawat -- sadly never took off, but he has acted in several commercials since. His claim-to-silver screen fame includes 3 Idiots, Ferrari Ki Sawaari, Shivaay and Boss.

 

Sumbul Touqueer plays Amali

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sumbul Touqueer/Facebook

The acting:

As Khurrana's exuberant house help, Touqueer conveys more charm and despair in four scenes than most actors can in their entire career.

The actor:

Choreographer Touqueer's daughter started early, along with her sister Sanya, on the small screen in dance shows like Dance India Dance and Dancing Superstar, which led to roles in costume dramas like Chandragupta Maurya and Jodhaa Akbar.

Her new television show, Isharon Isharon Mein is due to go on air later this month.

SUKANYA VERMA
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