Nikkhil Advani on Batla house: Would've liked to retain parts that were edited
Asserting that Court-ordered edits didn't affect the narrative, Batla House director Nikkhil Advani on the last-minute changes in film.
Sensitive as the subject was, Batla House director Nikkhil Advani continually maintained that he tried to have a balanced approach by presenting three different perspectives on the case — that of the cops, the judiciary and the accused. However, the John Abraham starrer — inspired by the 2008 police encounter — underwent a fresh round of edits after the Delhi High Court ordered that certain scenes be snipped before it hit screens on Independence Day. While the film has opened to a positive response, detractors are of the opinion that the story has a lopsided approach, with the version of the accused not finding a place in the runtime.
Quiz Advani, and he says, "This is a personal point of view, but I feel a couple of edits that were made, helped to tell a clear story from the point of view of the victim/accused. There was a petition filed that was considered by the court. So, we showed the film to the court to explain that while it is inspired from real events, a large part is fictional. If we had time on our hands, we would have wanted to explain why those scenes were important to the narrative."
The director refuses to delve into the details of the scenes that were chopped at the last minute; instead he is happy that it hasn't hampered his story. "I agreed [to the changes] because everyone has the right to a fair trial. Would I have liked to retain the part that was cut? My answer is yes. But thankfully, the audience has understood the several points of view that we have shown."
The court also asked for a disclaimer about the accuracy of the events portrayed in the film. These changes led to delay in sending out the prints to some centres. "The film's release was delayed in centres where we had to physically courier the prints. I have been told that the collection would've been two to three crore higher [had the prints reached on time]. But better late than never."
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John Abraham and Nikkhil Advani talk about Batla House