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Operation Valentine Movie Review - Bland and simplistic!

March 1, 2024
Sony Pictures & Renaissance Pictures
Varun Tej, Manushi Chhillar, Sampath Raj, Anish Kuruvilla, Abhinav Gomatam, Ali Reza, Paresh Pahuja, Mir Sarwar
Nandakumar Abbineni
Hari K Vedantam
Sai Madhav Burra
Avinash Kolla
Mickey J Meyer
Sandeep Mudda
Shakti Pratap Singh Hada

'Operation Valentine', produced by Sony Pictures International Productions and Sandeep Mudda, was released in theatres today (March 1). In this section, we are going to review the latest box-office release.


Wing Commander Arjun Dev (Varun Tej) and his wife Aahana Gill (Manushi Chhillar as a Radar Officer) have arguments over the former going out of his way and putting himself in danger for the sake of his country. While Aahana understands the sentiment behind his daredevilry, she is worried for his life.

The biggest threat to Arjun Dev's life comes when the Indian Air Force decides to launch retaliatory attacks on terrorist launch pads in Pakistan following a dastardly terror attack on Indian jawans on 14 February 2019 in Pulwama. The heroic Arjun Dev is up for the mission of his life when he has to put himself on the line. Will he survive the retaliation?


While Varun Tej looks physically fit, he looks stiffer for the character. He is more rigid than he was required to. The blame rests on the writing that reduces his character to being stoic. Manushi Chhillar is not a pushover in this otherwise male-centric film. She takes the command, passes orders and looks apt in the role of an assertive officer.

Barring the above two, the rest of the cast are either disastrous or unintentionally hilarious. Sampath Raj and Anish Kuruvilla don't show urgency, Abhinav Gomatam and Ali Reza are complete misfits, Paresh Pahuja and Mir Sarwar don't make any impact.

Technical aspects:

Mickey J Meyer's background music was better in 'Gandeevadhari Arjuna'. The cinematography by Hari K Vedantam is conventional. Avinash Kolla's production design is not low-effort but it is not memorable either.

It was hard for the action directors to take creative liberties, given that this is an aerial actioner where the aviation combats have to be shown within certain parameters.


The initial segments take off on a reasonably good note. The secret terror hideouts, the frantic airbase in Srinagar, the action in Gwalior where Arjun Dev has been licking his wounds over the failure of Project Vajra, so on and so forth. Once the film enters the 'intelligence' territory, the sensor readings fail!

The conversations (written by Sai Madhav Burra, who merely does a translation job from Hindi with no creative freedom) between superiors and subordinates are uni-dimensional. They are always about the former giving orders and the latter disobeying or talking back. The dialogues are dry when they involve superiors and are affected when they are about (artificial) camaraderie.

Arjun Dev is shown saving a soldier from a near-death experience following a hydraulic failure. This is a done-to-death idea. We have been seeing variations of this idea for decades now. If the hero has to be portrayed as a daredevil being, he must be shown saving someone from a road accident or something. Since 'Operation Valentine' is an aerial actioner, it is a hydraulic failure that the director has chosen.

The flirtatious conversations between males and females are at the level of a short film. The bosses are reduced to warning and helplessly watching our cute hero (who is apparently the only brave, Subhas Chandra Bose-loving soldier of our times) snub them. The film becomes so eerily Army jargon-obsessed that, in the one romantic scene, the heroine refers to court martialing.

The tragic flashbacks, and the warfare lessons the bosses are condemned to listen to from the hero (who dares to do peace-time attacks on Pakistan) make this film uneducated and silly.

Closing Remarks:

Flat trajectory and unexciting stunts make this film bland. The dogfights (a close combat between military aircraft) could have been done better.

Critic's Rating