Directed by: Nikhil Advani
Starring: John Abraham, Mrunal Thakur
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller, Drama
Release date: 15 August 2019
Running Time: 145 Minutes
Batla House is an upcoming Indian Hindi action thriller film based on the Batla House encounter case that took place on 19 September 2008. The film is directed by Nikkhil Advani and starring John Abraham and Mrunal Thakur in the lead role. The film is set to release on 15 August 2019.
Ravi Kishan joined the film cast. Nora Fatehi joined the cast in November 2018. The work on the film was completed in second week of February 2019.
बाटला हाउस की INSIDE STORY शम्स की ज़ुबानी | DELHI ENCOUNTER | Crime Tak
John Abraham, who hit the bulls-eye with Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran and Satyameva Jayate, is continuing on this path of patriotic pride. The poster of his next film, Batla House, just hit the internet and his intense expression can’t help but remind one of his role in Satyameva Jayate.
The film will hit the screens on August 15, 2019. Directed by Nikkhil Advani, the action-thriller is based on the infamous encounter that took place in September 2008. The incident, known as Operation Batla House’ occurred in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar locality, where two suspected terrorists were killed.
This is John’s third film with Advani, and they’ve earlier worked together on films such as Salaam-E-Ishq and Satyameva Jayate.
Batla House encounter: Congress under scrutiny as new IS video emerges
Batla House Movie Trailer:
There is a scene in the film Batla House where John Abraham, playing valorous policeman Sanjay Kumar, is listening on the phone. Someone is talking on the other end of the phone, and so still is Abraham in his attempt at being stoic that the end result indistinguishable from a still image. Nikkhil Advani’s new film often suffers from the same problem — stultifying dullness. There’s promise here in a film about a specific police encounter being scrutinized with extreme cynicism by the rest of the nation, and it builds towards an engaging finale, but Advani takes too long to get there, meandering through wooden actors and limber item-dancers in subplots that really aren’t the point of the story.
The film starts off well, by giving us the Batla House police encounter of 2008 — a Delhi clash where two alleged terrorists were killed and one ‘encounter specialist’ police officer was martyred — in the first few minutes. This is a bold storytelling gambit from writer Ritesh Shah, leaving us to wallow in the policeman’s doubt and rising media speculations. The problem is that Batla House, with its background score forever ringing climactic, doesn’t seem entirely sure whether it wants to be a Talvar or an Ek Tha Tiger. There are long uninteresting scenes about nabbing individuals while the film seems to be about more than that. This is a film that wants to ask questions, while also giving us chase sequences and shirtlessness along the way. Something for everybody, as producers say.
The film is, however, rarely riveting. There’s no true tension, largely because of a mediocre supporting cast who are theatrical in their fear or even their laughter. Abraham is steely enough to be called restrained, but a stronger performer could have given this demanding role some shades of grey. Here, when handing over a dismantled gun to his wife to hide because he doesn’t trust himself with a firearm, he appears merely blank. There is conversation about post traumatic stress disorder, and he fleetingly visits a shrink, but for too long does this hallucinating cop keep himself on the force and firing away.
Mrunal Thakur, playing his wife, gets an interesting character, a television anchor fed up of her husband’s negligence toward her — and thus of the police itself. Thakur, however, delivers dialogue incredibly flatly, making her appearances tiresome. She comes alive only later in the film, when giving her husband lessons in conducting himself for the camera. “Don’t say ‘uh,’ stop playing with your rings, look into the lens,” she corrects reflexively, despite being submissive to him the rest of the time. “How difficult is it?”
That’s a question worth asking Advani, because the steeplechase obstacles he puts in Abraham’s part before getting to the film’s meaty third act — the courtroom argument — aren’t hard at all and didn’t deserve as much focus. By the time a white-wigged Rajesh Sharma started up as an interestingly written prosecutor, I was already worn out. Still, the finale is worth attention, even though the film doesn’t commit to its own narrative. In the midst of the courtroom scene, like that pesky no-smoking sign, a rather unprecedented subtitle appears informing us “the film makers do not endorse the views of either side.” Except they already have, clearly showing us what has happened and what is fake.
In a powerful melodramatic motif, Abraham keeps rubbing his medal of honour, imagining that is it blood-stained, a la Lady Macbeth. At one point he asks the court if there has ever been another police encounter where an Inspector has been shot — a tacit suggestion that other encounters without slain cops could well have been staged. His legal defence intriguingly includes the phrase “binary opposition,” but doesn’t delve deeper than a mention. I wish they’d have rubbed harder.
The songs are composed by Rochak Kohli, Tanishk Bagchi, Vishal-Shekhar, Ankit Tiwari and Stereo Nation where lyrics written by Kumaar, Tanishk Bagchi, Dev Kohli, Gautam Sharma, Gurpreet Saini, Prince Dubey and Stereo Nation, whereas music is produced by Chandan Saxena. The first song “O Saki Saki” is a remake of the song Saaki Saaki from the film Musafir. The song “O Saki Saki” was launched on 15 July 2019.