Operation Gold Fish Movie Review: A failed operation
A mismash of real-life incidents with a romcom that leaves you yawning
Director Sai Kiran Adivi's Operation Gold Fish gathered a lot of steam after the central government’s recent decision to repeal Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution. It is pitched as a story that depicts the problems faced by the Kashmiri Pandits in their homeland. However, the director gives a us only a simplistic look into the actual problems and instead focuses more on a boring campus love story which serves only as a distraction.
Operation Gold Fish is the story of Arjun Pandit (Aadi Sai Kumar), an NSG commando, who grew up with the ambition of one day nabbing/killing the dreadful Ghazi Baba (Abburi Ravi), the leader of an Islamic jihad militant group and the man behind the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.
The film begins with Arjun facing court-martial proceedings for refusing to obey the orders of his superiors in connection with Ghazi Baba’s case. There is a backstory about why he has been charged. Meanwhile, four college students — Karthik (Karthik Raju), Solomon (Nookaraju), Tanya (Sasha Chettri) and Nitya (Nitya Naresh) — go on a trip to Lambasingi and get abducted by militant Farooq Iqbal Iraqi (Manoj Nandam). The latter demands the release of Ghazi Baba in exchange for the lives of the hostages. Arjun gets into action to save the students and foil the plans of the terrorists. What follows is an old-fashioned revenge drama treated in that melodramatic and over-the-top style.
Operation Gold Fish is made in the format of a mainstream Telugu film, occasionally touching upon real-life issues. As the story unfurls, it reminded me of the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Main Hoon Na, which also deals with a similar story of an Army officer rescuing a college student from terrorists.
Cast: Aadi Saikumar, Abburi Ravi, Sasha Chettri, Nithya Naresh
Direction: Sai Kiran Adivi
For a film that claims to showcase serious issues, Operation Gold Fish features a liberal amount of adult jokes. In addition to this, the campus sequences in the first hour are tedious, repetitive, and distract from the main story. The narrative fully goes off the rails in the second half, and it is clear that the director has run out of ideas. Much time is wasted on the Lambasingi sequences where Krishnudu tries to play cupid to the four students and Arjun looks out for Farooq Iqbal Iraqi. By the time everything falls into place, you are completely exhausted.
On the performance front, Aadi Sai Kumar is believable in the character of an NSG commando. But there is some inconsistency in his character as the director seems to have not made it clear to him whether he plays a Kashmiri or belongs to a Telugu family which once lived in Kashmir. Writer Abburi Ravi makes a respectable debut in a full-length role as an antagonist, displaying both authority and angst through his eyes. Manoj Nandan shines in a brief role, while Rao Ramesh and Anish Kuruvilla try hard but end up as mere caricatures. Of the youngsters, Parvatheesam manages to bring in a few laughs with his inane jokes. Krishnudu plays an uninteresting character.
Overall, Operation Gold Fish is a film that lacks the substance to keep even fans of the action-romance genre from yawning.