Code Name: Tiranga
Quickly onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the Hindi film Code Name Tiranga starring Parineeti Chopra. From its trailer(yes I happened to watch it), this did seem like a kickass spy thriller with another female protagonist at the helm of it. It was earlier this year wherein another spy thriller featuring a female lead was released in the form of Dhaakad. While that film did ooze of a lot of style, the substance and execution was missing.
There has been a dearth of spy thrillers featuring female leads especially in the Hindi film industry. While I really wish that the makers try and attempt these subjects, the ones that are tried have only ended up being a missed opportunity. This genre needs to kick start soon and hopefully the audience should resonate with it, provided it is done well. And with that hope, I went in to watch Code Name Tiranga which did promise a lot from its trailer. So then is Code Name Tiranga worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Code Name Tiranga follows the story of a spy who is assigned the task of taking down the most dreaded terrorist while also trying to track a mole in her organization and saving the love of her life. The story is a pretty routine spy thriller which does rely a lot on the screenplay and performances. While the latter does deliver, it is the screenplay which is a little bland and has its fair share of issues. Standing at almost 138 minutes, the screenplay did seem like an amalgamation of 2-3 spy films put together, although to be fair it also did have certain moments to shine.
The drama opens with a supposed chance encounter leading to a newly blooming romance. Now sticking to this subplot, as the film progresses you get to know that this was half baked. A part of me then tried to imagine, what if this subplot was left out altogether on the edit table. And if the focus was on the covert operation? Would that have been a better approach? In the hindsight, but my answer was a resounding YES(remember how exciting Baby was?).
One of the core reasons why the drama did seem bland was that there wasn’t enough time invested(actually none at all), in the world building and character building. A good spy thriller does need these key ingredients. To give you a perspective, the main protagonist after an initial romantic subplot goes on a full gun throttle at a wedding. Now there is nothing wrong here and the drama is watchable but I as a viewer could never really connect with her because I wasn’t invested in her journey. It was a big assumption that she was the best in the business without actually showing me why!
Another instance was the introduction of the terrorist who was said to be dreaded. Again, why was he dreaded? What had he done previously? These questions needed to be established in the screenplay to evoke that sense of fear and thrill in the mind of the audience. This is the major flaw in the screenplay – the establishment of the world and the characters. So what then happens is that the writers are always playing catch up with the audience.
To be fair, the drama is not half as bad as some of the critics are making it out to be. It is extremely watchable and in certain parts engaging as well. But had they tried to make the drama a little more layered and tried adding a few more twists with the introduction of a few more characters then this film would have garnered a higher rating. The entire sequences regarding the revelation do fall slightly flat despite some shocking twists and turns is because you aren’t really invested in the drama. The final act too despite an outstanding action sequence felt almost like a video game. It was kind of underwhelming to say the least in a screenplay which was also a missed opportunity.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are alright, it was a mix of mass and class, ideally it should have been the latter to keep the drama grounded to reality. The music is decent. The BGM here is good and blends well with the drama. The cinematography is breathtaking with some lovely frames. It also is excellent in combat sequences which makes you sit up and take notice of it. Director Ribhu Dasgupta does a fair job here although his narrative style never rises above the script.
The performances are really good here although none of the characters are well etched out other than the female protagonist. Rajit Kapur as Kabir does a good job here. Shishir Sharma as Khan is wonderfully understated and does a swell job. Dibyendy Bhattacharya as Bakshi is his usual brilliant self here. Sharad Kelkar as Omar does a good job although his character wasn’t intimidating enough. He did give more of a gangster vibe and not that of a dreaded terrorist. Harrdy Sandhu as Mirza is decent but his character gets the least scope in the script. Parineeti Chopra as Durga is quite brilliant. She definitely excels in combat sequences and does a fine job in certain emotional sequences too.
Code Name Tiranga is a half baked spy thriller that suffers from some convenient writing making it a missed opportunity. Available in a theatre near you.