Code Name Tiranga Review: Parineeti Chopra’s Spy Thriller Is All Smoke No Fire

Code Name Tiranga Review: Parineeti Chopra's Spy Thriller Is All Smoke No Fire

Parineetii Chopra in Codename Tiranga. (courtesy: YouTube)

Pour: Parineeti Chopra, Harrdy Sandhu, Sharad Kelkar, Rajit Kapur, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Shishir Sharma, Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Deesh Mariwala

director: Ribhu Dasgupta

Valuation: One and a half stars (out of 5)

Faced with a particularly challenging undercover mission aimed at taking out a terrorist hiding somewhere in Turkey, the head of India’s spy agency claims “we need our best man for the job”. It turns out that “the best man for the job” is a woman, an elite secret agent with a track record to die for.

Gender rotation at the heart of Codename Tiranga The narrative is pretty much the only facet of the film that deserves serious attention. The rest of the whirlwind but seething spy thriller, for all its pyrotechnics, is all smoke and not fire.

Codename Tiranga, directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, is a series of gaping gunfights interspersed with fleeting character speaking sequences. They deliver the banalities with all the zeal they can muster before rushing into the next action scene where guns and grenades rule with the same enthusiasm.

In a spy thriller where meaningful conversations and genuine dramatic moments take second place, once the global hubbub has been settled, the heroine makes light of a personal tragedy she suffered because it is a patriotic one Spy act is nation first. Always.

Addressing the audience, she assures that her fight was not just to keep the country safe, but to strike a blow on behalf of all women. The undercover agent doesn’t stop there. Any time the Tiranga is in danger of messing with her, a Durga — her name is Durga Singh and she’s a special ops officer — will show up and eliminate the enemy, she adds.

This lavish sequence follows a grand showdown with the villain, in which the infallible dame wields an automatic weapon to gun down the henchmen guarding the lair, but drops like nine pins while a remixed version by Vande Mataram blares on the soundtrack . In her final attack on the terrorist, Durga Singh throws down the gun and wields a knife. Like the film, she is out of ammo.

The Man Durga Singh (Parineeta Chopra, who collaborated with Ribhu Dasgupta on last year’s equally unforgettable film The girl on the train) was used to smoke out is one of the prime suspects in the 2001 attack on Parliament (Bollywood’s favorite flashpoint) – Khalid Omar (Sharad Kelkar, whose voice helps fill out the emptiness of the lines he utters).

Durga Singh is a super spy of the classic form – she’s a sniper, a hand-to-hand combat expert like no man’s a match, a highly skilled intelligence gatherer, and most importantly, a survivor gifted with uncanny bullet-dodging skills.

When we first see and hear her, she is in poor physical condition, having emerged from a pitched skirmish that left her bloody. In an introductory voiceover, she says something about snatching life from death. This creates the conditions for what is to come.

Cut to a man hailing a taxi in Kabul. Durga jumps into the vehicle without your permission. The surprised male passenger poses as Dr. Mirza Ali (Harrdy Sandhu) before. The two talk first in Pashto, then in English and finally in Hindi. I’m a half-Punjabi Turkish citizen, the man reveals.

Durga, in an abaya, says her name is Ismat and that she is running from a family who want her to marry against her will. I don’t like Punjabi men, she adds effectively. The doctor accepts the barb. Next thing we know, they’re a couple.

Durga’s true motive is revealed at a wedding she attends, accompanied by Mirza, to capture and kill a deadly terrorist. The mission fails. The Indian secret service launches another operation and “the best man for the job” is pushed into the service. Not that there are no men around the intrepid Durga Singh. Ajay Bakshi (Dibyendu Bhattacharya), a spy who his bosses believe has gone rogue and can no longer be trusted, appears periodically. Kabir Ali (Rajit Kapur), India’s all-season man in the Middle East, is on hand to troubleshoot when danger lurks.

Codename Tiranga it’s not about that Young (war) alone. The film also has an essential strand that sticks with it pyaar (Love). It is about the relationship between the heroine and Mirza, a UN official who returns to Turkey after his stay in Kabul. Predictably, Durga and Mirza meet again, but under different circumstances.

Durga has two battles ahead of her – one to prove her loyalty to the nation, the other to make sure she doesn’t lose the man she loves. But can she win on both fronts? That is the question Codename Tiranga Answers in the second half. Your methods are anything but gripping.

Halfway through the film, the secret agent ends up in the good doctor’s clinic with gunshot wounds. She apologizes for dumping him in Kabul. “Goli mujhe pehli baar nahi lagi hai par pehli baar dard ho raha hai.“This is the effect love had on the otherwise steely Durga Singh.

The agony of losing the love of her life overshadows the pain caused by two bullets piercing her during a solo attack on a terrorist’s secret, heavily guarded abode somewhere near the Turkish-Syrian border.

In a movie that’s literally everywhere, the actors have their jobs cut out. They struggle to rise above the deafening noise and be heard and understood. The screenplay, credited to a quartet of writers that includes the director, follows the most hackneyed action film conventions and leaves far too much for the cast to salvage.

Codename Tiranga Parineeti gives Chopra a role well outside of her comfort zone. Her mission isn’t exactly impossible, but she’s not an Atomic Blonde either. With a script that’s more action than talk, Chopra slaps her straps only sporadically.

Harrdy Sandhu may seem like an ideal foil for a girl of incessant action in the guise of a reserved, mild-mannered man, but he is paralyzed by sketchy characterization. As for the other actors in the cast, Codename Tiranga will certainly not go down in history as a memorable excursion. The film waves a flag that flaps and flaps aimlessly.

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