Operation Valentine Movie Review

Zero Drama, Roger That!


U/A, 2h 12m

Varun-Tej-Operation-Valentine-Telugu-Movie-ReviewWhat Is the Film About?

Wing Commander Arjun Dev (Varun Tej) is one of the brilliant pilots in the Indian Air Force. However, his stubborn and reckless attitude lands him in trouble with higher officials. One of Arjun’s daring, uncalculated acts leads to the death of his fellow pilot, giving him a permanent scar literally and figuratively.

The movie’s basic plot is Arjun’s redemption via Operation Valentine, undertaken by Indian Airforce as a retaliation for Pakistan Airforce’s infiltration. Real-life Pulwama terrorist attacks and the subsequent response by the Indian Air Force are the inspiration behind the movie’s story.


Varun Tej takes on another unique character as an Air Force pilot. His physicality greatly aids in portraying the role, alongside a couple of emotional moments.

Varun Tej overdoes his confidence and stubbornness, appearing cocky at times. When he isn’t being those, he slips into the cockpit and does a three-sixty-degree contortion of the face with the mask on.

Varun Tej needs appreciation for picking different characters and genres, but the problem is the generic moments it contains. Apart from the ‘physical’ suitable aspects, there isn’t anything memorable. He requires better writing and scenes to have any impact.

Manushi Chhillar makes her Telugu debut with Operation Valentine. It is a role that suits her modern personality. It’s in the sense that the part allows her to be natural-self, and does not require the typically expected glamour stuff. In the few dramatic moments she gets, she is okay, and that’s it.


Shakti Pratap Singh Hada directs Operation Valentine, based on the Pulwama Attacks. Incidentally, the same was also the source for another similar flick, Fighter, that hit cinemas a few weeks ago.

The movie dives right into the Air Force world and its technical jargon. For the most part, it involves Roger this or that, mentioning coordinates, and addressing people with their ranks, barring the close ones. The effort shows, but nothing looks or feels natural.

Barely anything happens initially besides the technical briefings and talks. The flashback between the lead pair and the whole connection with a tragic incident should have been properly handled. It all comes across as clunky.

Things pick up around the pre-interval mark only when the pilots take off after establishing the various dramatic requirements. The terrorist attack, the subsequent face-off and the interval are decent, making one look forward to the second half.

The Operation Valentine begins in the second half. The Aerial warfare takes most of the runtime in the second half. The poor VFX and the tackiness in execution add an extra layer of pressure to the already confusing action sequences.

The commands and reports from the on-ground office staff offer some respite as they explain the happenings. We get some idea of the combat and the difficulties plaguing our protagonist. But, the blurry visuals and loud background score manage to play spoilsport.

Still, despite the issues, parts of the proceedings do feel engaging. The thriller approach to the narrative with a ticking timebomb adds to the respite intermittently as we get some gripping moments. They are few and far between, but their presence saves the whole thing from crumbling down.

The ending is just going through the motions and giving redemption to the hero. There is hardly anything else. The camaraderie is missing, and so is the patriotic emotional appeal. To sum up in a single line, at no point do you get a patriotic vibe in the entire film.

Overall, Operation Valentine is a different attempt within the commercial Telugu cinema space. But it doesn’t have a gripping narrative from start to end. Parts of it work, and before one realises it’s past the finish line. Give it a try if you haven’t seen Hrithik Roshan’s Fighter and have no expectations.

Manushi-Chhillar-Operation-Valentine-Telugu-Movie-ReviewPerformances by Others Actors

The artists, apart from the lead pair, have poorly written roles. Also, they are as generic as it gets. Everyone goes through the standard procedural character tropes within the short time they have.

Navdeep appears in a blink-and-miss role. Sampath Raj plays a poorly written role of an officer. Ruhani Sharma is present, but again, no one knows the purpose. Why is Abhinav Gomatam even in this film? He should ask himself.

Music-Director-Mickey-J-MeyerMusic and Other Departments?

Mickey J Mayer’s music is forgettable. The patriotic song fails to hit the right emotions. The background score is loud, drowning the dialogue at times. And in the few parts requiring Mickey J Mayer to be in his regular drama zone, the work is okay.

Given the background chosen, Operation Valentine required strong technical effort. That isn’t the case here, with the cinematography and editing giving it a patchy feeling. The visual effects (although better than what we see in web series) are nowhere near the benchmark set by the recent biggie, Fighter. It is unfair to compare, considering the budget, but that’s the way it is. The writing, too, is way below par.


Decent Screenplay

Thrills (In Parts)

Different Attempt


Dull Drama, Poor Writing

Patchy Narrative



Did I Enjoy It?

Yes, In Parts

Will You Recommend It?

Yes, but don’t expect too much

Operation Valentine Movie Review by M9

Final Report:

Operation Valentine is a different attempt in Telugu space, but its unimpressive drama fails to generate the necessary emotional impact, coupled with tacky visual effects. Watch with low expectations, as it offers occasional thrills.

First Half Report:

The first half lacks substantial drama from either country’s perspective, but momentum builds around the pre-interval mark, setting the mission for Operation Valentine.

Operation Valentine takes off in Pakistan with a potential strike aimed at India. Stay tuned for the first half report.

Operation Valentine marks Varun Tej’s first shot at the Pan-India market. It is based on the 2019 Pulwama terrorist attack by Pakistan on India and the retaliatory Balakot Air Strikes of 2019 by the Indian Air Force. Films like these should leave a strong impression on multiple fronts – emotions and visual experience. Let’s see how the debutant director Shakti Pratap Singh Hada delivered.

Cast: Varun Tej, Manushi Chhillar

Director: Shakti Pratap Singh Hada

Producers: Sony Pictures International Productions & Sandeep Mudda

Co- Producers: Nandkumar Abbineni & God bless Entertainment

Screenplay: Shakti Pratap Singh Hada, Aamir Khan, Siddharth Rajkumar

Dialogue Writer: Sai Madhav Burra

Music: Mickey J Meyer

DOP: Hari K Vedantam

Editor: Navin Nooli

VFX Supervisor: Durga Prasad Ketha

U.S. Distributor: FunAsia Films