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Operation Java Is Uneven But Remarkable Cinema



Operation Java(Malayalam,Zee5)
Directed by  Tharun Moorthy
Rating: ***

One  more Malayalam gem, this one sparkling with an ominous shine. I wonder  how  on earth the team behind this  laudable film decided to  go ahead with an  idea that on paper, must have sounded  more  like a web series than  a feature films. A  series  of cyber crimes  is being investigated and  exposed  by Kochi’s cyber cell.In fact  the  narrative is  so uneven and so unheedful  of  narrative  guidelines that I  often feared it would collapse on its zigzag trail.No such  calamity befalls this  masterly study of crime  and  punishment. Films on  cybercrimes are still rare  in  our country. This one, I hope would lead  to more cinematic  explorations of the dark world of the web.I will never forget the haunted  face of  the woman who is shown visiting the cybercrime office  with her husband time  after time, determined  to prove  that the woman in  a porn  clip gone viral is not she.The  cases that the film threads its  way through  are haphazard in their progression. Writer-director Tharun Moorthy makes no  effort to impose any  kind of creative or moral  order on the  episodes . And  that is  for the  best. Here is a prevalent malaise, almost a pandemic of the virtual world,  where  incredible  frauds are  committed over unsuspecting  people. Moorthy follows the  trail of  the investigations with care curiosity  and  a keen commitment to making the  cases  accessible and interesting to us the viewers, but  never at the cost of credibility  .The  tone of  concentrated energy never  falters.There are no frills, no songs  and other  diversions.Our heroes are  two  cybercell interns Anthony(Balu Varghese) and Vinaya Dasan(Lukman Avaran). They are  the kind of  inconspicuous  nobodies nobody  gives  a  second glance. But Anthony  and Vinaya want  to make  a difference. To their own lives.And that  of the  others.That  opportunity comes when their  considerable knowledge   of the internet cracks  a case of  movie piracy(for the record the pirated film was the Malayalam  Nivin Pauly-Sai Pallavi starrer Premam in 2015)  . The  inseparable  friends  are offered a chance to intern at  the cyber cell for a princely salary of Rs 10,000 each. To  Anthony and Vinaya  this is their chance to do something with their lives. Their relentless pursuit of  a closure to  cybercrimes  unfolds in one interesting case after  another  , all based on real incidents. For example,  the cyber fraud  involving the employment of  Keralite nurses in  Ireland and  the  murder of  a housewife  by a delivery boy, are both  a part  of  the narrative. These cases are re-opened  like wounds that never heal.The writer-director saves  up  the best,the  case of the murdered housewife for  the last . Though it comes on at a juncture in the storytelling when everything is over, it  nonetheless jumps at us with its riveting reconstruction  of the swift  action by the cyber heroes to nab the criminal.  Like I said, finding a  neat structure is not a priority  for Operation Java. Bringing out the  various dynamics of  the working of  cybercrime cell is the need of the  hour. The film nails it.   Also interesting is  the  politics  in the cyber  cell office. While one kindly senior Ramnathan(Vinayakan)  looks after Anthony and Vinaya  and even makes them speak to his physically disabled wife  on his phone, another senior Basheer(Parshanth Alexander) wants the two hardworking “outsiders” to just leave. This is an important relevant film that we all must see. Because none  of us is  immune to cyber crimes.That face in the blue film can make  you red in  the face. 
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