Operation Romeo(in theatres from Friday)
Starring Sidhant Gupta , Vedika Pinto, Sharad Kelkar, Bhumika Chawla and Kishor Kadam
Directed by Shashant Shah
Unless updated modified or re-interpreted,remakes are like chewing gum way past the point of fun. Operation Romeo regurgitates the 2019 Malayalam film Ishq: Not A Love story wholesale , and that includes its fatally flawed second-half when the young man sneaked on in his car with his girlfriend by a couple of corrupt cops, takes revenge on his tormentors.
The entire vendetta plan is frustratingly manufactured and unreal, almost suicidally self-defeating rendering the film’s first, mildly chilling, half almost null and void. The idea of moral policing was over-garnished in its original avatar.An hour-long taut plot is stretched into a completely uncalled for post-interval denouement, which is not only absurd but also like a boulder dragging down the end-product.
The first 20 minutes where the couple’s relationship is established is also clumsily handled. The meat of the matter is the Romeo-busting moral policing episode . Sharad Kelkar is a portrait of unvarnished greed and seamless evil. He and another veteran actor Kishor Kadam serve as the dark ugly side of the Laurel-Hardy partnership .
Sadly it all comes undone with the emotionally wounded hero Adi(Sidhant Gupta)setting off an illogical vendetta spree. His trespassing into his tormentor’s home and heckling and terrorizing the tormentor’s kind wife(Bhoomika Chawla) and daughter are pitiably convincing plot points. They sadly expose the leading man’s acting abilities rather than showcase them. Comparisons may be unfair here(considering how weak a remake this is). But compare Sidhant Gupta in this remake with Shane Nigam in the original, and we know why Malayalam cinema is so far ahead of its Hindi counterpart.
Sharad Kelkar and to a lesser extend Kishor Kadam do all the heavylifting in this misbegotten remake. Towards the utterly unconvincing climax Keklar is shown whimpering and pleading and bleeding on the floor.
If only justice was so easy to serve, Operation Romeo has a solid idea tucked away at its centre. The rest is eminently dispensable.