Disney+ Hotstar’s Special Ops 1.5 is an espionage mini-series focused on a chain of events that sculpted the intractable and resolute Himmat Singh of recent times from 2020’s Special Ops. This prequel comprises a precise and amusing narrative of Himmat’s story after the 2001 Parliament Attacks, by his close associate, Abbas Sheikh.
Delhi Police sub-inspector, Abbas Sheikh (Vinay Pathak) is summoned by interrogators to shed light on Himmat Singh’s (Kay Kay Menon) career as an undercover agent to help them draft an extensive report which is deemed to benefit Himmat’s retirement package. Abbas starts by detailing the whole internal resistance from higher-ups that led to the duo’s inability to capture Ikhlaq Khan, the sixth culprit and criminal mastermind behind the 2001 terror attacks.
This disturbing failure also cost Himmat his job as he was accused of continuously draining the government’s resources on his vague factless idea. After lying low for some years, Himmat Singh is further summoned by RAW to assist them in tracing Maninder Singh (Aadil Khan), a runaway ex-RAW agent who seems to have access to extremely sensitive details related to the nation’s security.
Himmat is also shown certain linked suicide cases of eminent officials who fell prey to honey-trapping and are speculated to have exposed classified security details. Himmat Singh teams up with his best friend and fellow RAW agent, Vijay Kumar (Aftab Shivdasani) to work on this case. The duo uncovers a big international organization’s participation in assigning sparrows (charming women trained as spies) to extract sensitive details from bureaucrats and public officials through blackmailing.
The rivalry between co-founders of the organization and the package of sensitive information to be traded in person is the only loophole. Can Himmat get hold of Maninder and rescue the sensitive information from being mishandled?
Kay Kay Menon’s portrayal of Himmat Singh, a Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) agent is exceptionally good. His spectacular character portrayal in the former series was a favourite and it stays consistent with this one. He perfectly manifests the naiveness and fierceness of Himmat in his early years. He charms his viewers in every scene with his absolute brilliance and inscrutable facial expressions.
Aftab Shivdasani playing Vijay was an absolute treat to watch. Their companionship feels real and not just for the screens. Vinay Pathak, Aadil Khan and Purnendu Bhattacharya among others are perfect at their assigned roles.
Directors, Neeraj Pandey and Shivam Nair thoughtfully craft this special series to help audiences connect personally to Himmat’s character.
Experiences of the world and drastic encounters have moulded the resilient and uncompromising Himmat Singh of Special Ops season one. Pandey’s excellence and experience in handling spy-thrillers accompanied by an innovative mindset heightens the essence of the story.
Special Ops 1.5 has you hooked to the plot from the get go. It had a steady flow with jots of suspenseful encounters and top-notch humour.
The attached plots and twists have been broadly detailed. The intercontinental ventures are ongoing just like in the previous series, truly depicting the vast extent of real-life intelligence operations.
The tale is skilfully designed to honour the dedicated and persevering efforts of the real undercover agents who seek no appreciation. Furthermore, special praise has to be given on the VFX team for de-aging Menon and convincingly presenting a younger Himmat Singh.
There have been a series of protruding errors in the show. The screenplay sometimes drags an enormous amount in additional supporting plots. An interrogation process encouraging such fine detailing of events devoid of the main character, is absurd.
The repetitive use of the same trick to extract information makes it boring occasionally and necessitates a few fast forwards. Crafting the whole plot with a range of deception schemes could engage the audience.
The predictability of the approaching is evident within the series with fewer to no moments of being clueless.
Kay Kay Menon’s stupendous performance shines through the adversities. It is not advisable to miss this special back story of Himmat Singh which provides a clearer picture of his character.
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