Besides incidental snatches of local music, Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15 has only one song. And that’s the Bob Dylan classic ‘Blowin In The Wind’ which plays in the background. The song originally released in 1963 has acquired a cult status over the generations, equivalent to the Holy Grail.
Anubhav says he was determined to get the rights to use the song, no matter how. “Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin In The Wind’ was written into the script of Article 15. It was the only song I wanted in my film. It encapsulates the spirit of exploration and salvation that my hero Ayushmann Khurrana goes through. I love the song’s lyrics specially, ‘How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?’ These words epitomized my film.”
Anubhav didn’t know how to get the rights for the song, and how. “I didn’t know where to start the process. I knew it would be a long-drawn process, and expensive, and at the end of I may not be able to afford it. I got in touch with a friend in the US who got in touch with another friend who knew Bob Dylan’s manager Jeff Rosen.”
Rosen has been Dylan’s manager for 30 years. “Finally I spoke to Rosen and told him what we required. To my surprise he was very supportive. He told us to use the song and pay whatever token amount we could afford.”
So how much did Anubhav have to pay for Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin In The Wind’?
The filmmaker isn’t telling on record. But what he does reveal is: “It could’ve been a lot lot more than we could afford. I don’t know what I’d have done then. But I wouldn’t have made the film without Dylan’s song. What we paid is a big dent to our budget. But worth every penny.”