Director: Shashant Shah
Cast: Sharad Kelkar, Kishor Kadam, Bhumika Chawla, Sidhant Gupta and Vedika Pinto
Where: In theatres near you
Rating: 3.5 stars
Official Hindi remakes aren’t a new thing in Bollywood, and joining the bandwagon is 'Operation Romeo'. The film is a remake of the Malayalam film 'Ishq: Not A Love Story', and it’s an impressive one. Putting a spotlight on the issue of moral policing, the film remains true to its genre. A binge-watch worthy romantic-thriller, 'Operation Romeo' takes you to the world of a common man.
Aditya (Sidhant Gupta) and Neha (Vedika Pinto) are head over heels for each other, but their romantic tryst gets disturbed when Mangesh Jadhav (Sharad Kelkar) and his subordinate Kiran Mama (Kishor Kadam) catch the two love birds in the secluded area of Mumbai. And then begins the unexpected chase of revenge.
Director Shashant Shah has helmed noted films like 'Dasvidaniya', 'Chalo Dilli' and the passable 'Bajatey Raho' in the past. 'Operation Romeo' comes as an absolute surprise from him. After dealing with human dramas and comedies, he has explored a whole new territory for himself as a filmmaker. His challenge to keep the subject intact with the thriller quotient is commendable. However, the first half slightly distracts you due to stretched buildup, but the second half picks up and takes the film to a different level.
Considering it’s an official remake, it is advisable to not see the original film since it kills the whole new perception about a fresh and a new film, and that’s what exactly I did. 'Operation Romeo' also softly highlights the issues of toxic masculinity and modern feminism.
New kids on the block, Sidhant and Vedika, are the film’s highlight. Sidhant’s urge of taking his girlfriend out on her birthday night is so relatable. His want for that one special kiss is cute to the core. His transformation as an obsessive, rebellious lover in the second half is good enough, but he slips off of his character here and there. Vedika is like a breath of fresh air; she is simply the girl next door who promises a lot with her debut performance. With very few dialogues in her kitty, she shines on with her expressions.
Sharad Kelkar as a ruthless cop in disguise, delivers an earnest performance. His acting abilities are known to everyone, and as Mangesh, he is enough to get disgusted by. His sidekick Kishor brings a humorous tone to the film, and Bhumika Chawla plays her part honestly.
It is noticeable that at Friday Filmworks, producers Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia always try and back subjects that are unique in their own way. Producing a social issue film with a no big star and thrust on performers is also a way of filmmaking.
'Operation Romeo' has released alongside the Shahid Kapoor, Mrunal Thakur-starrer 'Jersey', which might be a matter of concern for the makers. The film could have a straight digital release too. When a film like 'Jersey' stands tall against a small-honest film like 'Operation Romeo', there’s a chance of the film losing its importance and purpose.