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Most films which release on digital streaming platforms have the same format and similar runtime which films releasing in theatres adhere to. Thus, it is interesting to see that ‘Operation Parindey’, the new film which has dropped on Zee5 is just about 55 minutes long. Given the length and the fact that the film depicts one of the most talked about jailbreak episodes in the recent times, one expects a crisp narrative that will keep the viewers on the edge of their seats.

Monty Singh (Rahul Dev), referred to as Babaji by the people who look up to him, is in jail on charges of running a terror outfit which demands the creation of a new country based on a particular religion. Even while Monty is in jail, he manages to exercise a good amount of influence not just on the inmates but also a couple of policemen. They look up to him as a spiritual guru. One day, with the help of a carefully executed plan, Monty manages to break out of the jail. Special Task Force officer Abhinav Mathur (Amit Sadh), realising the kind of grave danger the nation is exposed to on account of Monty Singh’s escape, get into action immediately.

The film takes just about a few moments to introduce the viewers to the inciting incident, that is, the jailbreak. The said sequence is executed with a certain level of dexterity and that, in turn, helps in setting the tone for the film. In the next 45-50 minutes, you see Abhinav and his team trying out various methods and taking every clue into account as they try to nab Monty Singh. The screenplay, penned by Tejas Dhhanraj, has twists and turns but is written in a simplistic manner and in a way that any twist in the tale or information served to the audience does not confuse them. While that is a welcome initiative, what also happens here is that the script appears too simple at times – certain issues get solved very quickly leaving no room for any amount of tension or friction to appear in the narrative. For instance, the ease with which Pabbi is traced does not seem very convincing. There was also scope more drama and a better build up in the pre-climax leading to the climax.

Sanjay Gadhvi, who has earlier helmed films like ‘Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai’, ‘Dhoom’ and ‘Dhoom 2’, among others, knows how to get the best out of the written material. So, while the screenplay falters a multiple points in the film, he manages to keep the drama alive and kicking with his firm command over the visual narrative. There are a bunch of events which come across as implausible. Also, it would have been nice to give the viewers a peek into the background of Monty Singh who is shown as a dreaded terrorist using religion as a weapon. A little more detailing was needed to make the character come across as sufficiently menacing. Arkodeb Chaterjee has done a good job at capturing the milieu of small town/rural Punjab well. The background score (Jam8) is strictly functional. The sound mix (Anish Poduval) leaves a lot to be desired as the dialogues (presumably recorded in sync sound) sound uneven at multiple points throughout the film.

Apart from Sanjay Gadhvi’s direction, Amit Sadh’s performance is one of the major highlights of the film. The actor is in fine form and looks extremely convincing as the tough cop he is portraying here. Rahul Dev delivers a wonderfully controlled and menacing performance as Monty Singh. The only thing one wishes is that his character was etched out more elaborately. Kunal Kumar delivers an effective performance as Shreeni. Ameet Gaurr has a very good screen presence and he puts across a confident performance. Aakash Dahiya several moments to shine and performs very well. Rucha Inamdar leaves a mark as SP Komal.

‘Operation Parindey’ is an engaging thriller which gains heavily from the way the director treats the subject matter. With a runtime of less than an hour, the film moves at a brisk pace and keeps you invested in the proceedings despite the screenplay falling short at times.