Starring: John Abraham, Mrunal Thakur, Nora Fatehi, Ravi Kishan, Rajesh Sharma, Manish Chaudhary
Written by: Ritesh Shah
On 13th September 2008, serial blasts shook the city of Delhi killing 26 people and injuring over 100.A week later, on the morning of 19th September 2008, a narrow bylane in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar, was rattled by the sounds of gunfire exchanges. Officially known as Operation Batla House, this was Delhi Police Special Cell’s shoot out with the alleged terrorists responsible for the Delhi blasts holed up in a flat, in the now infamous Batla House. The film is based and revolves around this incident and the events that followed this incident and around the man at the centre of it all, India’s most decorated Police officer;then ACP and now DCP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav.John Abraham plays the lead role of the officer Sanjeev Yadav, Ravi Kishan plays the role of KK, who gets martyred in the Batla House encounter. Mrunal Thakur plays the role of Sanjeev’s wife in the film, who is also a news anchor. Rajesh Sharma plays the role of the prosecuting lawyer and Manish Chaudhary is seen playing Sanjeev’s superior in the film. The film focuses on the incident, the politics behind it and also looks into the case that happened post the encounter where it was seen that whether this was a fake encounter as claimed by many in the media or was there any truth behind it.
The film plays out as a thriller and hits the ground from the word go. The story is well researched and the film is quite gripping as well. The biggest drawback for the film is the songs in between. They really slow the film down and the film could have done without them, or atleast a few of them. A few scenes are a bit overly dramatic but then you are willing to look over those scenes. Also, while the film is gripping, it seems to constantly switch between a thriller and a sad, dramatic story. Although it’s less but it’s a bit more than required for such a film.
Technically, the film is good. Cinematography by Soumik Mukherjee is great, especially the batla house sequence and the chase sequence. Editing by MaahirZaveri is good. The costume design and production design are on point and look realistic. The action in the film is really good. The story and the script are both good but could be more refined, clear and crisp. The songs aren’t memorable in the film and the only song that stands out from the lot is O Saki Saki.
Performance wise, this film is decent. John Abraham shines throughout the film. He plays the role of officer Sanjeev with all honesty and he gives his best which shows on the screen. Mrunal Thakur is letdown a bit by the script, but she still does well. Manish Chaudhari is decent. Ravi Kishan makes a huge impact with his small role. Rajesh Sharma is superb as the prosecuting lawyer. Nora Fatehi is great in her important cameo and the special song.The rest of the cast offers abled support.
Director Nikhil Advani’s approach to the film is great. He gets done with the encounter in the start itself and then builds the film from there but he could have treated the film better.
At the box-office
The film has got a great start and with a great word of mouth should be a success at the ticket window nationwide.