Shivaay on Special OPS 1.5: A case for using sound as dialogue

SPECIAL OPS 1.5 REVIEW : A case for using sound as dialogue

The first thing that strikes you about Special Ops 1.5 is how we finally have an espionage thriller about the menacing usage of honey traps to blackmail government officials in top military and bureaucratic positions. Seldom have Indian film makers gone beyond the bearded snarling “Ji Janaab” terrorists in the on screen espionage world of late.

Special Ops 1.5 tells us about the back story of how Himmat Singh became Himmat Singh and the premise to create a prequel was a novel and interesting idea in itself. The writing is taut and keeps the viewer hooked on right from the time Abbas Sheikh (played by the ever reliable Vinay Pathak) walks into an investigation room with 2 “sarkari babu’s” waiting to grill him about his boss (Parmeet Sethi’s okay while Kali Prasad Mukherjee adds comic relief and carries on from where he left in the first season). The rest of the casting is perhaps the biggest weak link in the series with Aadil Khan (Maninder), Vijay Vikram Singh (Naval Commadore Chintamani Sharma) and Aishwarya Sushmita (Karishma) all hamming their lines through with over the top facial expressions in most scenes. The dialogues, a good mix of grit and sarcasm do add some sanity however. Good to see Aftab Shivdasani get a decent role after long.

The action moves from India to London to Colombo to finally Ukraine in a cat & mouse chase between Himmat and team and the nexus of terrorists (most of them being rogue domestic agents) using honey traps to blackmail and sell top governmental secrets. Along with the well shot and choreographed action sequences (just like part 1), the most noticeable aspect of this series is how the usage of background sound not only adds to the thrill of this being an espionage mission but its a complete dialogue in itself. The usage of sound effect as dialogue without having characters mouth unnecessary lines is common practice in a lot of Hollywood action films (especially the one’s directed by Christopher Nolan of late) but for an audience that likes claps, whistles and punchlines from its leading men this is a novel and an out of the box idea (not the first time Neeraj Pandey’s done this, he used the sound tropes well in Baby and Special 26).

Every episode is full of twists and turns and the story of Himmat’s love life as well as his marriage to Saroj (effectively portrayed by Gautami Kapoor) is as interesting as the world of spies and espionage in itself. Somewhere after a modest and predictable beginning in episode 1 its through the shattering background score of episode 2 used to portray the honey and booby traps without having its characters to speak a single word that Special Ops 1.5 elevates itself into a complete Neeraj Pandey masterclass in itself and reminds us why this man is behind some of the most thrilling and appreciated films in recent times.

RATING : 4/5 (Must Watch)

4 Responses to “Shivaay on Special OPS 1.5: A case for using sound as dialogue”

  1. Started to watch SO1.5. The first episode is quite funny and interesting.


  2. Finished watching. Excellent direction and a gripping thriller about the ruthless world of espionage.
    The background score does the most talking replacing dialogues and that is the best part of this web series. Congrats to Neeraj Pandey for giving thrillers like this.


  3. Your review is good without giving much away. Only thing that bothered me was the wig given to KayKay.


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