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Operation Romeo

Operation Romeo Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : 2.5 / 5

Operation Romeo Movie Review : Here’s a romantic story with a thrilling edge

STORY: Aditya Sharma and Neha Kasliwal (Sidhant Gupta and Vedika Pinto) are in a relationship which finds itself challenged one night when they’re out on a date and get harassed in the dead of the night by two men posing as policemen. Will the night change the course of their relationship?

REVIEW: Sidhant Gupta plays Aditya Sharma, who resides in the suburbs of Mumbai with his sister and mother. Neha Kasliwal, played by Vedika Pinto, is a student, engaged in a professional course. They’ve been in love and probably wish to take things to the next level. It’s date night and Neha’s birthday when they’re out on the town together. Just as they romantically cosy-up with each other, two men, Mangesh and Kiran (Sharad Kelkar and Kishor Kadam), posing as policemen, start harassing them for coochie cooing in a public parking lot. How the night takes a toll on Aditya and Neha’s relationship forms the rest of the narrative.

The film, a plot-point-by-plot-point remake of the 2019-Malayalam movie ‘Ishq Not A Love Story’, uses a strained boy-girl relationship to talk about chauvinism, moral policing and difficult choices that one has to make without really holding out a placard for it. Even though the narrative plays out at a really slow pace, the performances, especially by Sharad Kelkar and Kishor Kadam save the day in a big way. The fact that they effortlessly induce emotions like anger and disgust for their characters speaks volumes about their ability to get into the skin of their characters. The thriller aspects have been built well but the film takes a completely different turn eventually and it all doesn’t stitch well at the end.

Barring moments in the pre-climax portion, Sidhant pulls off a decent performance. Vedika has a smaller screen time but she’s confident and comfortable on screen. The lead pair has a long way to go but they’re off to a good start.

The original film was set in a small town where harassment and publically romancing someone can lead to trouble. Couples could also have a rough time dealing with cops in such pockets. But when the setting is changed to a metro like Mumbai, where you find couples romancing publicly in several pockets throughout the year, the writers and the director needed to account for the change in the pathos and treat the narrative and the characters differently keeping the new setting in mind.

Aditya, who is a working professional, displays a strange level of inability to tackle the harassment and a weird kind of possessiveness for Neha, which evaporates instantly when she’s unable to tell him what happened in the car behind closed doors. There’s no explanation offered in any manner as to why he is the way he is. Sometimes, a little window into a character’s mind goes a long way to get the audience involved in his or her journey. Here, even though Aditya looks messed up, you don’t feel much for him. The length of the film, presumably kept to 135 minutes to make it a slow burn, actually feels painfully longer. The music is just about okay.

To sum up, this one’s a thriller-love story that could have been remade smartly and sharply to drive home an important message. Alas! It misses the turn!

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