I will not say that Operation Java from debutant Tharun Moorthy is a flawless and unpredictable movie. But the film for me was thoroughly engaging. Despite not having the conventional start-middle-end structure, this investigation journey was a compelling watch. With the design it followed, I was expecting the movie to hit a roadblock at some point, but the script still managed to stay engaging till the end.
The film is about two jobless engineering graduates named Vinayadasan and Antony. The two who were struggling to find a job got a temporary posting in Kerala police’s cyber cell when they helped them track the guy behind the leakage of the Premam movie. What we see in Operation Java is the life of these two characters, along with the multiple cases in which they assisted the police.
As I said, the structuring of this movie is very odd. In some ways, it’s almost like watching Action Hero Biju. You are watching multiple episodes in the life of two youngsters who are assisting the police with their acquired intelligence. The oddness is there even in the way each episode is concluded. They are not trying to make it an interconnected plot with a big villain and unpredictable twists. By the time the film ends, we as an audience are given a picture of how crucial these two were in many cases and yet how thankless their job was.
Tharun Moorthy has done a perfect job in keeping the movie in an extremely compelling space. Each case is given a slightly different treatment. The first one that sort of introduces us into this world has an agile and straight forward structure. The second one has a broad canvas along with a back and forth narrative. The last one, which revolves around a murder, has parallel narratives and a thriller like multiple possibilities. And Tharun has kept one case alive throughout the film, which shows you the emotional consequences of some of the heinous cybercrimes. Faiz Siddik’s cinematography follows different styles according to the tempo of the movie. From long single-takes to slow-motion walks, you get to see all the variety. The editing and its style do make the narrative crispier. The tracks by Jakes Bejoy blended in with the movie smoothly.
Lukman, as Vinayadasan, showed an excellent level of earnestness in his portrayal. The film talks about the humiliation faced by the talented people who are called temporary. I would say Lukman’s performance conveyed that feeling in the most realistic way. Balu Varghese’s performance was more on the typical side, and Antony’s depiction was on a very emotional level. Binu Pappu and Irshad played those empathetic police officers’ roles neatly, while Alexander Prasanth represented the bullies. Even though it was a relatively small role in screen time, Vinayakan’s performance was highly effective.
Operation Java maintains a particular level of enthusiasm throughout its narrative. Rather than making it look like a superhuman effort, it gives you an idea about the collective action behind these investigations. In the present political climate, it will be interesting to see how people will react to this movie’s politics that takes the side of the temporary staff in the battle for a permanent job.
With the design it followed, I was expecting the movie to hit a roadblock at some point, but the script still managed to stay engaging till the end.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended