A review on Pakistani crime thriller feature length film, Operation 021 (2014) aka O21 (or Operation 21 formerly The Extortionist). The Production Houses are One Motion Pictures, Azad Film Company & Interactive Studios while its Distributor is IMGC Global Entertainment.
- Directed & Written by Jami Mahmood and Summer Nicks
- Cinematography by Mo Azmi
- Co-Written by Joe Towne and Azaan Sami Khan (Produced)
- Edited by Rizwan AQ
- Co-Produced by Zeba Bakhtiar
Operation 021 is the first spy action-thriller Pakistani feature length film. The filming took place throughout Karachi, Lahore, Balochistan and the Afghan Border. O21 was primarily filmed on Red Epic Cameras with Cooke s4/i lenses however the ARRI Alexa XR was used in certain scenes as well. It is also the first Pakistani film to be mixed in Dolby Atmos.
Aamina Sheikh was the winner of the best actress prize at the New York International Film Festival whereas the renowned actor Shaan Shahid received accolades through countless Pakistani blockbusters, most recently for Waar. The Music is composed by Alfonso González Aguilar.
+ Main Cast
- Shaan Shahid as Kashif Siddiqui
- Ayub Khoso as Abdullah
- Shamoon Abbasi as Danish
- Mustafa Changazi as Shayan
- Hameed Sheikh as Dost Muhammad
- Aamina Sheikh as Natasha
+ Supportive Cast
- Shakeel Hussain Khan as Deputy
- Ayaz Samoo as Mani Abbas
- Gohar Rasheed as Babar
- Bilal Ashraf as N/A
- Abdullah Ghaznavi as N/A
- Iman Ali as Aleeha Siddique
Two men execute a plan in able to stop the war between Afghanistan and Pakistan within 21 hours.
+ High Points
i – Hameed Sheikh played the iconic character in this film. He performed his character with absolute spectacularly on-screen as one of the important supporting characters; an ‘A’ class performance by respected Hameed sb.
ii – Ayub Khoso is an old, veteran actor where his character as Abdullah is the most central one in this film. His care-free attitude on how to deal with the investigating agents under their custody is brilliantly directed and performed. Other Honorable Mentions: Shaan Shahid, Gohar Rasheed and Bilal Ashraf.
iii – The action sequences are eye catchy to watch.
iv – A remarkable work by Mo Azmi in its cinematography.
v – The film’s twist was surprising indeed.
vi – The costumes designing did a nice job.
+ Low Points
i – Shamoon Abbasi as Danish was unable to make an impression or had any significance in the film. Whether this is true or not, but I have heard that most of his scenes were either cut or left behind before releasing it onto the big screens.
ii – Even the fight sequences between Shamoon Abbasi & Shaan Shahid failed to leave a mark of impression.
iii – There were many scenes going back and forth to FBI dept. which were English conversations that were mostly detail and boring.
iv – After the interval, I remember looking at other people faces to make sure perhaps I am the only one who is not enjoying the film. But I was wrong.
v – By the time ending arrived, I didn’t really cared who had the chip. ‘Oh, there is it. Right…’
vi – After watching the trailer, this film surely did not meet my expectations.
Long before the intermission, it’s all working — Operation 021’s tense story, its slow-paced action scenes, its trenchant direction, its stylish cinematography. But then it did not really work as well as this film intended it to be; which ultimately fails to reach to the audience connected with its intense content or emphatic with the lead characters.
Rate: 2.50 out of 5 stars