Code Name: Tiranga reunites Ribhu Dasgupta with his The Girl on the Train actor Parineeti Chopra. She plays Durga, an undercover agent who is part of a special ops team hunting down Khalid Omar (Sharad Kelkar), the purportedly absconding mastermind of the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.
Durga’s mission includes posing as Ismat in Kabul and marrying the hunky half-Turkish and half-Indian doctor Mirza (Harrdy Sandhu) to blend in with the population. A botched attempt to kill Khalid lands Durga and her handler Bakshi (Dibyendu Bhattacharya) in a soup. Events take Durga to Turkey, where, with the help of Indian agent Kabir (Rajit Kapur), she zeroes in on Khalid and his Pakistani patron Khan (Shishir Sharma).
The undercover operation at the heart of Code Name: Tiranga is about as competent as the movie itself. From Khalid’s ridiculously dim-witted security guards, who are unable to tell one veiled woman from another, to visibly unfit Indian operatives who somehow manage to be quick on their feet, the movie strains to be plausible or even halfway engaging.
Far too many films and shows have tackled similar themes in the past (including Bard of Blood, directed by Dasgupta). The minimum expectation from Code Name: Tiranga is a handful of well-executed action scenes and characters that you might remember before the end credits have finished rolling.
Except for a point-of-view sequence in which Durga storms Khalid’s citadel, the 127-minute movie is too sluggishly staged to sell Parineeta Chopra as an action heroine. Durga is as about dull as Agent Agni from the Kangana Ranaut-led Dhaakad, operating in a single emotional register and wearing an expression of jaw-clenched determination throughout the narrative. Durga’s declaration that she will always be around whenever the Indian tricolour needs her can only be regarded as a threat, rather than a promise.
Harrdy Sandhu valiantly tries to be noticed in a film that is barely interested in him. It’s not personal. Code Name: Tiranga isn’t interested in its own subject matter either.