Nikkhil Advani: The truth of Batla House was lost in the middle of the noise
In 2008, Batla House went from being an indescribable locality in southern Delhi to being the epicenter of one of the most controversial police operations in modern India. the Delhi Police killed two presumed Indian Mujahideen terrorists and arrested two others who were allegedly involved in serial explosions in India earlier that year. The next Nikkhil Advani management company Batla House ' , chronicles the story of the encounter as seen through the eyes of a police officer, Sanjay Kumar (based on the then Delhi Police ACP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav). Naturally, this topic brings with it some loaded questions.nThe recent press conference of the director for the film, held in the capital, began with one of those questions. Nikkhil was asked if he had named politicians who had reportedly qualified Batla's encounter in his film. The director smiled and replied: Aap naam lein na lein, humne sab naam liye hain. He explains the reason behind this candor. “We have not stopped. When we decided to make this movie, we knew we had to be faithful to the incident and its consequences. Several political parties had their agendas. We decide that if we have to make a film about it, we have to go deeper into it. My opinion is that in the midst of all that noise, the truth was lost. No one wanted to talk about the truth. In a second, a decorated and patriotic police officer was called a murderer. And similarly, in a second, some students were called terrorists. We have tried to get to the stories behind them, ”said Nikkhil.
The filmmaker admitted that he borrowed a trick from Oscar winner Oliver Stone by telling the ' Batla House ' history, particularly the way Stone narrated the aftermath of Kennedy's assassination in his 1991 film JFK . He said: There was a film about the assassination of John F. Kennedy by Oliver Stone, where he used a format in which he fictionalized a bit, but also interestingly intertwined the images available in the public domain, including interviews, newspaper headlines, etc. They have made Batla House using the same format. Any information available in the public domain about the meeting and what happened after that, we have used. Opinions, blogs, interviews, we read them all. It took us four years to read all that. Where we could not obtain information about any character, there we added fictional elements. Therefore, we have integrated facts, through real images and photographs, into our fiction.
The investigation was not limited to just watching filming hours of the meeting. Nikkhil even visited Batla House to get an idea of the place. He said: The script that Ritesh (Shah, the writer of the movie) wrote is very well researched. There is a point in the movie where John's character enters a mode of doubt and asks himself: Kya humne galti ki ? Did we have all the facts to make the right decision? We have done all that. I went to the Batla house. I did not enter that particular department (where the meeting took place), although I wanted to, because I did not get permission. But I went to the area.
According to Nikkhil, his search for realism seems to be paying off, since he has been receiving positive comments on the progress, and from scratch from scratch. At the press meeting in Delhi, a journalist, who was an eyewitness to the operation 10 years ago, said the trailer was almost 40-50% true. In response to this, Nikkhil said: “I am not making a documentary. Under the title Batla House, it is written Inspired by real events. This figure of 40-50%, I take it as a victory, to be honest. I was afraid that when the trailer comes out, people will say issme kucch bhi sach nahin hai. So, when someone who lives in Batla House says it's 40% of the truth judging by the trailer, I'll celebrate. I will open a bottle of champagne now.
Director Nikkhil Advani says having John Abraham in the film was a blessing because of the actor’s preference for patriotic stories
Last week, two defendants in the 'Batla House' case filed a guilty plea in Delhi High Court , looking for a suspension in the release of the film. The two argued that since the film has tried to portray a definitive account of the alleged incidents, it could affect their ongoing trials. The Superior Court has asked manufacturers to make a special screening for both of them before launch. On the subject, Nikkhil said: “I have the CBFC certificate. CBFC members have seen the movie. I cannot say more than that because the matter is subjudgment. The film is inspired by real events, but they have been slightly fictional. They will watch the movie and realize that. I have used what is in the public domain and I do not think there is anything that someone should object to. But do you think the movie has the power to affect the case? As I said, it is inspired (by real events) and I don't think I should, he said.
Claiming that he knew that making a film about a controversial real-life incident was an invitation to criticism, Nikkhil said: “I know that once the movie is released, there will be debates around it. Many people will say that we did not do it correctly or that we did not demonstrate it well. But, he added, he felt it was important to tell such controversial stories and bring out the different sides. “I feel that today's scenario is such that we want our opinion to be accepted as a fact. No one else can have a perspective. You have to choose sides. But I don't think so. I only make movies, ”he said.
Nikkhil was the producer of last year's John Abraham movie Satyamev Jayate ' , which was also launched on August 15. The duo has now joined to give the audience another launch of I-Day at Batla House. Do you plan to do it three times in a row next year? John is very clear that even if I don't, he will come out (with a movie on August 15 next year). So, I have to find out. It's very clear ki kuchh bhi kar lo, main toh aaunga hello, Nikkhil said.
The director added that having John in the movie was a blessing due to the actor's personal convictions and his preference for patriotic stories. He shared: “I have never seen anyone like him. I keep asking you why you let yourself go? He keeps asking me, ‘ Arre woh flag wala scene kab kar rahe hain I say, John, karenge woh flag wala scene Kya hai uss mein? What about that other scene, the great action scene we are doing? nahi John wants to know woh flag Wala Kab Karenge scene. Porque cuando se despliega la flag nacional, algo le sucede a John .