Batla house recalls the iconic/controversial encounter of Delhi in 2008. The scrutinizing event raised many questions amongst the Indian citizens who were terrorized by the radical approach seized by Delhi Police. The film narrates the story of Sanjay Kumar (John Abraham) who led the Batla House operation that targeted innocent college students and were encountered in L-18. However, despite the judicial statement, Delhi police is still criticized for their actions in 2008.
The film's plot describes Sanjeev Kumar's viewpoint - the hotshot who pulled the strings of this controversial encounter. Sketching true events that do not touch the cinematic liberty can be a task, Batla house has scribbled a few sequences from the original scenario. Such as the courtroom sequence or John trying to get hold of accused in UP.
Nikkhil Advani has managed to upscale the film which manages to grasp your attention with the minor details in the setting of the whole film. And yes, they are really important on aesthetic value. For example the setting of the room where encounter took place. Although, since every element lies in perspective of the characters as the whole sequences tend to be distorted.
John definitely should be praised for this film as he never lost control over his character. And the film has been a vice choice; atleast better than his previous film - RAW. He has been magnificent throughout the film however his character seems to be loosely tied in the ending scene.
On the other end, Mrunal Thakur has pulled off her character really well despite being offered less screen time. She has been in background for quite some time and if given a chance she will definitely prove to be a worthy choice for the makers. It's all about the on-screen presence and the way she has managed to handle her subtle romantic scenes with John really needs to be applauded.
In conclusion, the film could have been a classic if the makers could have kept their hands away from Saki Saki - yet another unnecessary item number. How does Nora Fatehi dancing in medical college make sense in a film based on true events? Coming back to courtroom scene...Why do most of the courtroom sequences in Bollywood films tend to be funny or over dramatic? The courtroom set-up was established effectively but since entertainment factor couldn't be contained they had to mess it up. And, they did mess up!
While the film offers good cinematography with excellent action sequences and we'll written plot, the filmmakers could have definitely used some cinematic liberty.
The film could have been off the charts and a best choice for the release on Independence Day. But, they had to overdramatize it and adding an item number sucks you out from the patriotic angle offered by Batla house. Batla house is the best contender to watch this indepence day if you love films which dramatize the sequences from the actual events.