Very rarely do bollywood films have me clutching the edge of my seat in anticipation. But this film has that effect along with allowing me to experience the vast spectrum of emotions ranging from shock, empathy, sadness, guilt, to elation at justice finally served right. The story is an unabashed accounting of a brutal rape case of three dalit girls, as a disproportionately evil consequence of a demand for a meagre raise of three rupees in their daily wages. The film follows the investigation led by Ayan,the protagonist, a new Brahmin IPS officer, who has been transferred to the area as a form of punishment. It is based on a series of true events, such as the badaun gang rape.The remarkable cinematography with a gloomy haze aptly frames the setting. The audience learns of the caste complexities that are at work in our country, alongside Ayan, due to the lack of his experience. A determined Nishaad, a perseverant Gaura, a bowed down Jadav, a scheming Brahmadutt, a supportive Aditi- all add fit into their supporting roles perfectly, adding depth and nuances to their respective characters. The film has its twists and turns, and a lot of dots join only towards the end- so I would not reccommend going late and missing the first ten minutes,say, a crime we are all guilty of commiting. The film's title, borrowed from the Constitution is justified well through its strive for equality despite all the powerful/political forces that present themselves as high-walled obstacles.
"Naye tareeke dhoondne padenge Aditi, kyunki yeh raita bahut purana hai," says a sharp-looking Ayushman Khurrana, when he finds himself whirling in the complexities of the case. Abiding by the Constitution, fighting for one's fundamental rights, and learning how to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves are some of the basic takeways, spun magically into the film, lending it a fresh perspective. It plays out in such a balanced way that makes you automatically root for prevailing justice.
Justice is Truth in Action.