tv & movies

John Abraham on Batla House clash with Akshay Kumar’s Mission Mangal: ‘I don’t view it as competition’

Actor John Abraham, who plays police officer Sanjeev Kumar Yadav in his upcoming film Batla House, has said that playing someone who is still in service is a huge challenge and responsibility and there is no scope for creative liberty. Directed by Nikhil Advani, the film is about the infamous 2008 Batla House encounter which was later alleged to be fake.

John told Mid Day in an interview, “Playing someone who is still serving [in the police force] is a big responsibility. I spent time with him to understand the incidents that happened [after the encounter] and what was going on in his mind during that time. I didn’t want to take any [creative] liberty because the film does not take sides. It is not anti-or pro-any community. The idea is to build a conversation around the episode.”

On September 13, 2008, a series of bomb blasts in Delhi claimed over 26 lives and injured over 133 people. An operation was conducted on September 19 by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, who raided a flat in Batla House. Two alleged terrorists, Atif Amin and Mohammad Sajid, were shot dead by the police. Certain political leaders, however, had termed the encounter as fake.

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Talking about his recent choice of projects – mostly patriotic, Abraham said, “I harbour affection when it comes to patriotic roles. Such subjects are special. I don’t think loving one’s country requires any effort, so playing these characters come naturally to me. Having said that, my next [Pagalpanti] is a comedy, and I enjoy that genre.”

Batla House also stars Mrunal Thakur and is slated to hit theatres on August 15. It will clash with Akshay Kumar’s Mission Mangal. Reacting on the box office clash, John told the tabloid, “The audience gets to choose from good films. I don’t view it as competition.” Earlier, he had said at the trailer launch of Batla House, “Make some noise for the desi boys! What else can I say?” invoking the film and song where John and Akshay featured together.

“Akshay and I are dear friends. In fact, day before yesterday we messaged each other, and there is absolutely no problem. We are just releasing two films on the same day. There is a lot of space and audience is getting to choose from the best. I can say that film is really good,” he added.

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First Published:
Jul 11, 2019 17:26 IST

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