Anubhav Sinha's directorial Article 15 was a landmark film in the Hindi film industry as it became the first mainstream film to openly address the issue of caste system. However, Anubhav admits that the film was compromised because he added certain elements to it to make it more palatable for audiences.
During a discussion, Anubhav was asked about the 'cheese' he adds in his films which tackle social subjects. The director replied, "Cheese is a very thin layer of certain compromises you make to make it more palatable," adding, "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."
Giving an example of one particular scene in Article 15, Anubhav said, "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."
Although the film was lauded by many for addressing a critical issue that has been plaguing the country for millennia, it was criticized by some for portraying an upper caste man as the hero who saves the downtrodden.
Anubhav agrees with his critics regarding the problematic gaze of the film, but says he pushed it as far as he could by not making the lead character the sole hero, and had him surrounded by a team who all played an important role in challenging the caste setting in the film. But they were able to reach 70-80 lakh people in theatres and many more on OTT because of the lead character and his role in the film.
Article 15 starred Ayushmann Khurrana, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta and many others.
Anubhav is gearing up for his next release, Thappad, which is a film on domestic violence starring Taapsee Pannu in the lead.