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Friday Filmworks and Plan C Entertainment’s Operation Romeo (A) is a thriller. Aditya (Sidhant Gupta) and Neha Kasliwal (Vedika Pinto) are in love with one another. On Neha’s birthday, Aditya takes her on a long drive in his car. Late in the night, he parks his car near a hospital and gets cosy with her in the rear seat. Two men — Mangesh Jadhav (Sharad Kelkar) and Kiran Mama (Kishor Kadam) — appear from nowhere on the secluded street, introduce themselves as police officers and harass them for their ‘obscene’ act. The love birds plead with them, beg of them, even cry before them but the two men will not let them go. After bribing them, Aditya and Neha finally manage to free themselves from their clutches. What happens thereafter? Is it the end of their problems?

The film is a remake of Malayalam Ishq. Rateesh Ravi and Arshad Syed have written an unusual story which may be thin but it is, nevertheless, interesting. The duo’s screenplay keeps the audience’s interest alive despite the thin storyline. The drama moves at a fairly good pace, thereby adding to the thrill element. The climax, in which Aditya confronts Mangesh Jadhav and Kiran Mama, is lovely. The last scene comes as a shock to the viewers and will be especially liked by the feminists. Everyone may not agree with the last scene, though. Dialogues are very realistic.

Sidhant Gupta does such a natural job that he makes his character very identifiable and relatable. He is a fine performer and makes himself endearing to the audience with his realistic acting. Vedika Pinto performs ably in the role of Neha Kasliwal. Sharad Kelkar is fantastic as Mangesh Jadhav. He acts so wonderfully that the viewers end up hating him with a vengeance. Kishor Kadam lends fantastic support as Kiran Mama. Bhoomika Chawla looks fetching and acts with effortless ease as Mangesh Jadhav’s wife. Navni Parihar has her moments as Aditya’s mother. Nysa Darole is good as Mangesh Jadhav’s little daughter. Neha Khan is good and easy in front of the camera in the role of Aditya’s sister. Hardik Thakkar (as Battu), Pankaj Vishnu (as Devram), Vijay Sanap (as Rattan) and Satish Naikodi (as Pintoo) provide the desired support.

Shashant Shah’s direction is pretty good. No doubt, the drama is very class-appealing but the fact remains that Shah succeeds in sustaining the viewers’ interest from the start till the end. M.M. Keeravani’s music and Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics are more functional than anything else, because of the nature of the thrilling drama. Baba Yadav’s choreography is alright. Advait Nemlekar’s background music serves to heighten the impact of the drama. Hari Nair’s cinematography is of a fine standard. Nishant Abdul Khan’s action and stunt scenes are thrilling. Sunil Babu’s production designing is of a fairly nice standard. Pravin Kathikuloth’s editing is very sharp.

On the whole, Operation Romeo is an entertaining fare but its box-office prospects will be poor because of its class appeal, its incorrect release timing (when K.G.F. Chapter 2 (dubbed) and RRR (dubbed) are running in the cinema halls, and Jersey has opened simultaneously) and lack of awareness among people, not only about its release today but also about the fact that such a film even exists.

Released on 22-4-’22 at Metro Inox (daily 2 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay thru Reliance Entertainment. Publicity: very weak. Opening: dull. …….Also released all over. Opening was pathetic everywhere.