Batla Movie Review, Release Date, Star Cast, Story
Batla Movie Release Date:
15th August, 2019
Batla Star Cast:
John Abraham as ACP Sanjay Kumar
Mrunal Thakur as Nandita Kumar
Nora Fatehi as Huma…
Manish Chaudhari as Police Commissioner
Ravi Kishan as Inspector K.K. Verma
Rajesh Sharma as Advocate Shailesh Arya
Sidharth Bhardwaj as Maan singh
Sonam Arora as Shweta Verma
Pramod Pathak as P Krishnan, Defense counsel
Kranti Prakash Jha as Adil ameen
Batla Movie Review:
Movies based or inspired by true events always have an edge, especially if made well. A recent classic example is ARTICLE 15, inspired by the Badaun rape case and the Una whipping incident, and which became a commercial success. Now Nikkhil Advani attempts to unravel the mystery behind the more than a decade old Batla House encounter, also titled Batla House. So does Batla House give the audience an entertaining and thrilling time? Or does it fail to entice? Let’s analyze.
Batla House is the story of an honest cop who gets caught in a difficult situation. The year is 2008. Indian Mujahideen has carried out serial blasts across the country. His latest attack took place on September 13 in the capital Delhi. ACP Sanjay Kumar (John Abraham) is facing trouble in his marriage with Nandita (Mrunal Thakur). On September 19, his team informed him that the terrorists responsible for the blast were hiding in a flat at L-18, Batla House in the city’s Okhla area. Before Sanjay reaches the site, his junior officer KK (Ravi Kishan) orders the team to join the occupants of the said house. Students of Okhla University opened fire on the police, in which K K was seriously injured. Meanwhile, Sanjay arrives and he along with the rest of the police team eliminates the shooters. One of them Tufail (Alok Pandey) is arrested. Even before the police left, people started shouting slogans against the police. Soon, the media and political leaders accused the police of conducting fake encounters. K K, on ??the other hand, died in the hospital. Meanwhile, Sanjay finds it difficult to prove that he is right and that these residents of Batla House were actually part of the Indian Mujahideen. He also tells the police department that there were two more people in the Batla House flat who fled, one of whom is Dilshad Ahmed (Sahidur Rehman). He fled to Nizampur in Uttar Pradesh. Sanjay’s senior Jaiveer (Manish Choudhary) tells Sanjay not to go to Nimjapur to arrest Dilshad. Nevertheless, Sanjay defies orders and sets out with his team to nab Dilshad. In Nizampur, he encounters hostile residents and a leader of a political party who tells him to retreat. Still, he goes ahead and tries to take Dilshad back to Delhi. On one hand the local people are longing for his blood. On the other hand, Jaiveer and other senior cops are reprimanding Sanjay for his irresponsible act. What happens next becomes the rest of the film.
Ritesh Shah’s story is well researched and gripping. Moreover, it is extremely relevant in today’s time. Many might not be aware of this matter and how it created such a huge controversy at that time. So, there is also the novelty factor. Ritesh Shah’s screenplay is captivating in most parts but weak in the first half. The film should have been simple yet thrilling and devoid of too much docudrama feel for better effect. However, there is no doubt that some scenes are exceptionally scripted. Ritesh Shah’s dialogues are acidic and sharp. One-liners do a great job in the climax.
Nikkhil Advani’s direction is simply superb. He understands the material in his hand and the sensitive nature of it. He has handled some scenes cleverly and shows his talent in the interrogation scene in the first half and later in the courtroom scenes. Also, the Rashomon effect works well here to make the audience wonder which version is correct. However, some scenes in the first half are not good. Some scenes can even confuse the audience. For example, it is perplexing why Sanjay turns off the camera during an important interrogation. Thankfully, the pluses outweigh the minuses by a huge margin here.
The first part of Batla House is good but here the overall ‘wow’ aspect is missed. The reason for the tension in the relationship between Sanjay and Nandita is not properly explained. The encounter is only partially depicted and hence, one remains confused as to what exactly happened between the police and the students. Also Sanjay’s frequent hallucinatory sequences become too much after a point. But on the positive side, some of the scenes are quite promising. The film largely speeds up with quotes from the Holy Quran interrogating Sanjay Tufail. This powerful scene will surely be greeted with claps and whistles and it also proves how vested interests manipulate religious texts for violent gains. The Nizampur episode is a bit over the top but quite thrilling. The intermission point also comes at a great moment. Post interval, the interest level rises as Sanjay becomes determined to nab Dilshad. The entry of Victoria (Nora Fatehi) adds charm to the film. But the best is reserved for the last 35-40 minutes. The courtroom drama is quite exhilarating and clap-worthy. Also, once the whole scenario is clear, the film becomes simpler. As a result, knowing the complete picture will increase the interest of the audience even more. Sanjay’s monologue this time ensures that the film ends on a high.
Batla House without a doubt belongs to John Abraham. He is not just playing the role of a brave, well-decorated police officer. He also essays the role of a man who is abused and pulled up from all sides. No one wants to know or believe his version of the truth. The trauma he faces is beautifully articulated by John. Plus, he’s also expected to be first-class in action sequences and in dramatic and confrontational scenes. Mrunal Thakur is a bit disappointed with the script as the back story is never revealed. But she gives a good performance. In the second half, she impresses even more as the woman who stands up for her husband. Ravi Kishan leaves a big impression in a small role. Manish Choudhary is skilled. Rajesh Sharma (Advocate Shailesh Arya) is quite bitter as his character requires. Nora Fatehi delivers the much needed sizzling in the film. His character has a small but important role in the film. Alok Pandey and Shahidur Rahman played their respective parts honestly. Pramod Pathak (defense lawyer P Krishnan) gets a late entry but makes an impact. Others do well too.
The songs are not memorable except ‘O Saki Saki’. The item song is quite entertaining but it starts quite abruptly. ‘Rula diya’ and ‘jako rakhe’ are fine. Jon Stewart Eduri’s background score is subtle yet adds to the impact. Adil Sheikh’s choreography in ‘O Saki Saki’ is spectacular to watch.
Soumik Mukherjee’s cinematography is top-notch. This is especially true in the interior scenes of Batla House flat and chase sequence in the small town. Priya Suhas’s production design is quite realistic. Amin Khatib’s action is thrilling and yet not bloody or disturbing. Mahir Zaveri’s editing is sharp as well as stylish in many scenes. But this kind of editing also dents the effect in some scenes of the first half.
Overall, Batla House is a powerful saga that will surely give rise to discussions and debates. Relevant plot, powerful screenplay, clapping moments and stellar performance by John Abraham make Batla House one of the finest films of the year. It will give a promising performance at the box office. recommended!