The film revolves around a female RAW agent, Durga Singh (Parineeti Chopra), who chances upon Dr. Mirza Ali (Harrdy Sandhu), who is half-Turkish, half-Punjabi in Afghanistan. Sparks fly, and it seems they’re all set to marry soon. But it was all a ploy to use him as a decoy. She’s actually after Khalid Omar (Sharad Kelkar), the dreaded terrorist who blew up the Indian Parliament years earlier and has been hiding out in Turkey. We’re then told that her handler, Ajay Bakshi (Dibyendu Bhattacharya), has gone rogue, and she gets an order to find and execute him. Involved in all this is the Pakistani agent (Shishir Sharma), who wants to capture Ajay Bakshi for his own nefarious purposes. How Durga goes about her mission and finally manages to corner Khalid Omar forms the crux of the film.
We’ve seen spy films like Salt (2010), Atomic Blonde (2017), and Red Sparrow (2018) in Hollywood before, and of late, the trend has caught on in Bollywood too. Naam Shabana (2017), Raazi (2018), and Dhaakad (2022) are three obvious examples. Code Name: Tiranga is another addition to that. It’s closer to Dhaakad than others when it comes to treatment. Parineeti Chopra plays a superspy who can out kick, out punch and out gun the baddies even while blindfolded. No kidding.
The film has some nice action scenes. The gunplay is mostly inspired by first-person shooter games. In the climax, Parineeti single-handedly takes on a small army and kills all of them with a headshot. But it isn’t just gun antics. She also goes mano-a-mano with goons and comes out on top. Her climax fight with Sharad Kelkar, for instance, is a gore fest, with both acquiring multiple injuries. The film has been shot at multiple locations abroad and looks quite picturesque. The chase scenes, whether on a car or on foot, are decent as well. Another thing the film has gotten right is the use of foreign mercenaries by Indian and Pakistani agents. The portions where the mercenaries storm Khalid Omar’s bastion are shot like proper battle scenes, with plenty of casualties all around.
But it looks like director Ribhu Dasgupta only concentrated on action scenes and, as a result, has let other things slide. The film’s plot is paper thin and doesn’t offer you any surprises, the way a spy film should. And there’s no emotional core to the film as Parineeti and Harrdy Sandhu’s romantic track isn’t properly developed. Better writing and more fleshed out characters would have made it a crackling watch. To reiterate, while the action does hold your attention, the inane storyline doesn’t grip you at all.
Harrdy Sandhu impresses in his limited role. He does look the part and is confident in front of the camera. Parineeti Chopra has given it all for the film. She’s one hundred percent into her character and does lots of physical labour for it. But she’s a performer above all and doesn’t have much scope to exercise her histrionics in the film. As said earlier, her scenes with Harrdy are too few and far in between, though they make for a good pair. But all her enthusiasm and commitment weren’t enough to salvage the film.
Watch Code Name: Tiranga only if you’re a die-hard action film buff who has to watch everything released in the genre. Otherwise, avoid.
Trailer : Code Name: Tiranga
Archika Khurana, October 14, 2022, 3:28 AM IST
Code Name: Tiranga Story: Durga (Parineeti Chopra), a special agent, is tasked with apprehending Khalid Omar (Sharad Kelkar), the mastermind behind the 2001 Parliament attack. While on the assignment, she develops feelings for Dr. Mirza Ali (Harrdy Sandhu). Will she put her love for him ahead of the mission and jeopardising the mission, or will she be able to complete it?
Code Name: Tiranga Review: Code Name: Tiranga, written and directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, follows an undercover agent Ismat/Durga who marries a civilian Dr. Mirza Ali as part of her plans to capture Omar in Turkey. Will Dr. Mirza ever figure out who she truly is? Will Durga be able to track down Omar? This action-packed drama contains all of the answers. Parineeti Chopra starred in Ribhu’s previous psychological thriller, The Girl on the Train, but she takes on a completely new persona this time. As the director of the film, Dasgupta did quite well but lacked the necessary writing chops to craft an engaging thriller.
It’s refreshing to watch Parineeti Chopra take on the villains with the sole intention of serving the country. The portions where she engages in hand-to-hand combat and the gunfights are quite slick. Her determination to shape her action avatar in a credible manner is palpable.
Punjabi singer and actor, Harrdy Sandhu who was last seen in Kabir Khan’s 83, lends solid support to the narrative. On-screen, a new pairing of Harrdy and Parineeti is endearing. Sharad Kelkar as the main antagonist Omar, tries too hard to give his character credibility but is let down by the writing team. Furthermore, his character is cliched, just like any other Muslim terrorist we’ve seen in a number of films. Even well-known actors like Dibyendu Bhattacharya and Rajit Kapur are also underutilised.
Action choreography gets the maximum share of credit, as the story of this espionage thriller is quite predictable right from the beginning. The film’s script could have been better; instead, it appears to be a mash-up of many such action thrillers, including Ek Tha Tiger, Raazi and others. However, this one fell short of a solid storyline, and well-thought-out screenplay that justified the action scenes.
By the time we get to the climactic sequences, Code Name: Tiranga which lasts about two hours and 18 minutes long, leaves you feeling a little letdown. The major issue with the film is that one can predict what will be served next, and it takes a long time to watch because of Durga and Omar’s cat-and-mouse game. A few more plot twists would have made the story more interesting.
These chases and confrontations are skillfully orchestrated in the lanes of Turkey or Afghanistan, making them visually appealing to watch. The cinematography by Tribhuvan Babu Sadineni is a delight to watch.
All in all, despite Parineeti’s overuse of heavy-duty dialogues, Code Name: Tiranga falls short of eliciting the desired adrenaline rush. Despite the story’s lack of substance, Parineeti delivers a powerful performance in this predictable action thriller.