The Batla House: Movie Review is a fictionalized version of the Operation Batla House, which took place in 2008 against Indian Mujahideen terrorists in the Batla House locality of Jamia Nagar, New Delhi. The film traces the story, struggle and mental agony of a seven-member Delhi Police Special Cell team post the encounter of Indian Mujahideen terrorists allegedly involved in the serial blasts that shocked Delhi on September 13, 2008
Introduction of Batla House: Movie Review
Directed by Nikkhil Advani, this fictionalized account rides on the perspective of DCP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav as he struggles to fight the politics, trial by media and a marriage on the verge of divorce.
The first half of the film is crisp, engaging and filled with some raw action. It is heartening to see action heroes such as John avoiding filmy and choreographed action scenes. It works with the audience when you are recounting the real-life incidents. The second-half is saturated with emotions, salvaged by the director before becoming over-dramatic.
In the last few years, John Abraham has veered towards films with more patriotic tones, vigilantes, and stood by the account of the men in uniform. The makers have subdued John’s physique and not made it the USP of the film. The actor has done a good job emoting a conflux of disappointment and anger of a hapless officer who faces the trial both within and outside the court for his fight against terrorism.
Mrunal Thakur has played her small but pivotal role of Nandita (DCP Sanjeev Kumar’s wife) with conviction. The director has intelligently used talented actors as supporting cast in an attempt to take some ‘hero-sheen’ off the protagonist. Nonetheless, the film still largely revolves around the protagonist only. Rajesh Sharma is under-utilized but does justice to the part offered. Manish Chaudhari as Police Commissioner Jaivir is impressive. Ravi Kishan, who essays the role of KK, has a very small role but has played his part well.
There are few impactful dialogues; a glimpse of which was also visible in the trailer of the film. Brownie points to the makers for not forcefully inducing songs in the film but for Saki Saki. Noora Fatehi’s character is a dancer and girlfriend of one of the terrorists the special crime cell is chasing. The art and makeup department have done a decent job to give the audience a visual connect with the characters and locations.
In brevity, Batla House: Movie Review is a movie made for those who want to revisit the pages of history. On Independence Day, the police officers deserve a film like Batla House to remind us that there is a world in between the two extremes of ‘memes’ and the ‘hyper-national portrayal of the Forces
After years of practice of playing tortured police officers, John Abraham seems to have found his comfort zone. He brings strength and, at times, a sense of disquiet to his role. It is an improvement over earlier wooden performances. In contrast, Mrunal Thakur’s stony-faced and awkward performance makes her small role even more inconsequential. The subplot of the pair’s crumbling marriage, complete with a maudlin background score and emotional dialogue, weighs the film down.
What transpired at Batla House remains unclear, and Indian courts continue to hear cases linked to the encounter to this day. As far as this film is concerned, there is no room for debate. In true Bollywood tradition, “Batla House” chooses to hide its grays under black and white.
Songs of Batla House
Songs aren’t memorable except for of course ‘O Saki Saki’. The item song is quite entertaining but it starts off quite suddenly though. ‘Rula Diya’ and ‘Jaako Rakhe’ are okay. John Stewart Eduri’s background score is subtle yet adds to the impact. Adil Shaikh’s choreography in ‘O Saki Saki’ is visually great.
Batla House Director: Nikkhil Advani
- John Abraham as DCP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav
- Murnal Thakur as Nandita Yadav (Sanjeev’s wife)
- Ravi Kishan as KK
- Manish Chaudhari as Police Commissioner Jaivir
- Sonam Arora as KK’s Wife
- Alok Pandey as Tufail
- Faizan Khan as Mohammed Javed
- Niranjan Jadhao as Sadiq
- Chirag Katrecha as Zia
- Yatharth Kansal as an Arif