Batla House movie takes us back in time, in 2008 to a case that had literally shaken the very foundation of India. It attempts to fight off that tarnished image that the Indian Police has been trying to get rid of for so long.
However, owing to the sensitivity of the topic, the creators try to keep the movie a tad open-ended, toward the climax, so as to not deliver a judgment themselves. Despite that, Batla House movie ends up making some really strong statements. Fortunately, it works in favor of the police, which would be like an inspiration to the new generation, and end up restoring faith.
A Fight against Corruption
While there could have been incidents galore in the past, that would make you think every Indian cop is corrupt, Batla House movie tries really hard to fight that notion. It is a good thing because not every average Indian cop that you end up meeting is corrupt.
We are a land deficit of jobs and money, true, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t hope. Hope walks in the form of the do-gooders, who despite all odds stay on the path of righteousness. The honest ones who are just doing their job, despite all the ugliness that comes tacked to it.
In a country deeply rooted in corruption, it is so hard to have a voice when you are right. Especially, when you are a cop. People are naturally inclined to hate you and call you corrupt. Even if you do the right thing you still end up getting smeared.
It is one of those inevitable things that Delhi police once faced during the Batla House encounter. The movie tries to give us a good inside story on everything that came out.
The Direction of Batla House Movie (Spoilers)
The most interesting thing about Batla House movie is the way it unfolds. It doesn’t go into the investigation right away to tell you what had actually happened, or what things led to the shootout that we see right at the very beginning of the movie.
That’s done in order to keep the audience wondering about all the allegations, whether they were all true. The real story, the real investigation is holed up at the very end of the flick.
This style of storytelling will make you appreciate Ritesh Shah who is the writer of Batla House. There is plenty of content to play around with and the director Nikkhil Advani is successful in capturing almost everything.
Although there are plenty of dispensable bits in the movie that stretches it to a whopping 2 hours 26 minutes, I think a lot could have been sheared off. I think it all boils down to the editing. The good thing is that you stay interested as you really wish to know the backstory which is saved for the end.
That being said Nikkhil’s direction lacks subtlety. For the parts, where the protagonist is thinking about killing himself, the montage of shots therein fails to bring you to his frequency. You don’t feel the pain or torture because things that lead you to it aren’t dramatic enough.
Dialogues like – “take this gun apart and hide it in different places” further goes on to show how filmy we are in reality.
John Abraham as DCP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav
The very definition of a hero is changing today. Gone are those days when a hero was simply defined by style. No longer does he wear cool goggles, smoke a cigarette or ride two motorcycles at the same time. A hero today is known by his deeds.
People are opening up to the idea of a righteous hero. A person who is honest and just trying to do the right thing even when the whole world is against him.
That being said, anyone can be a hero. You just have to do something extraordinary and stick by it.
John Abraham plays DCP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav which is more like a personification of the entire Delhi Police. A moving and breathing person that literally epitomizes Delhi Police as he feels the noose tighten against his neck when he finds himself in the middle of unforeseen allegations.
For the better half, he keeps messing up, giving tons of opportunities to those who raise fingers at him. But even so, he doesn’t stay put, and keeps investigating just as he theatrically shouts:
But unfortunately, apart from this investigation, I have nothing.
Toward the end, Rajesh Sharma brings out that necessary energy as a defence lawyer. His presence uplifts the drama almost instantly.
Personal Experience (Image Makeover)
I had a good hap of meeting a very polite and learned DCP in Pune once. I was surprised to find how different he was from the batch of cops we often encounter and end up creating an image of. He was the exact opposite of the average everyday police you see on Indian streets or patrolling the roads.
He was very reasonable and knowledgeable and I was literally blown away by his personality, the moment he entered the room, the way he carried himself. Everything about him talked of good vibes, and for the first time in my entire life, I felt contrasted by that image that I had carried in my head for an Indian policeman.
Then it got me thinking. What we encounter generally is basically a common man, a big chunk of the society, the one that isn’t that educated. The one that breaks the same bread as a common man, the one who isn’t well paid. He brings that frustration in his hot-headed head, and it ends up showing in his demeanour, in his work and it screams in his voice.
But then, on the other hand, I met this amazing man – educated, reasonable, and intelligent. It made me relate so much to the actor in the movie, who was nothing like the person the media were pointing fingers at.
Main Issues in movie Batla House
I would say the weakest link in the Batla House movie would be Mrunal Thakur who plays the wife of DCP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav. There is this gargantuan disconnect that you feel gushing at you the moment she enters the frame. Her acting feels like a big let down.
Moreover, she feels quite unconcerned. Her tears feel contrived. There is literally zero chemistry between the two actors and it is hard to relate to any of the emotional trauma that these actors were even trying to cook up.
Apart from that, I think the pace of the movie needed some rework. It doesn’t have the thrill of the mission as was exemplary of Sarfarosh or the energy.
The direction of Batla House too could have used certain subtleties. The editing could have been improved a lot. John feels like a misplaced beefed up log who misses out in bringing the emotional energy that the movie called for. Brings to mind so many good actors that could have done it better. But that was a casting call, I guess.
The Final Verdict
Overall a good movie that is trying to bring our attention to our very own perception. It tries to very much change it, even though it claims to not mess with the original case.
Batla House makes you aware of your history. It makes you understand that not all cops are corrupt, that there are people who are doing their work honestly, yet there is a world out there forever gnawing at their soul.
A must watch!
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Check out the trailer of Batla House: