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Movie Review: Batla House


Producers-John Abraham, Bhushan Kumar, Monisha Advani and Madhu Bhojwani

Director- Nikhil Advani

Star Cast- John Abraham, Ravi Kishan, Mrunal Thakur, Manish Chaudhary

Genre- Social

Rating- **1/2


Jyothi Venkatesh

After his films like The Story of Pokhran and Satyameva Jayate , John is back with the latest thriller Batla House. It is a gripping and hard core film told through the eyes of an upright ACP, Sanjay Kumar (John Abraham). The film attempts to balance out the narrative without taking any apparent sides. On 13th September 2008, serial blasts shook the city of Delhi which kiled 26 people and injured over 100. A week later, on the morning of 19thSeptember 2008, a narrow bylane in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar, was rattled by the sounds of gunfire exchanges.

The film is a fictionalized account of the operation and the controversies that followed. Sanjeev’s strained relationship with his wife Nandita (Mrunal Thakur) and his internal angst are etched out effectively in this film which seems to be John Abraham’s best performance eventhough the reason behind the straining of relations has not been explained in detail.

As far as Batla House is concerned, the cops were clearly in the right, and the group of young men holed out in that tiny flat were not ‘students’, as claimed, but armed members of the Indian Mujahideen (IM). The encounter is only partly shown and hence, one remains confused as to what exactly transpired between the police and the students. Also, Sanjay’s constant hallucination sequences become a little too much after a point. The film picks up in a big way when Sanjay quotes from the Holy Quran while interrogating Tufail but the screenplay sags once in a while and the scenes tend to become very repetitive.

Performance wise John Abraham steals his scenes though he should avoid getting typed in similar roles, while Mrunal Thakur has been shortchanged with a half baked role, Ravi Kishen has his moments while Manish Chaudhary gives a very restrained performance. It is good that the background music is not jarring and a lot of dialogues are spoken without any loud background music in the film.  Meaty roles continue to elude Nora Fatehi as she keeps on continuing to appear in films in small roles. This one is no exception but she gets to carry the popular remix of the song O Saki Saki

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