In the upcoming film “Operation Valentine,” Varun Tej and Manushi Chhillar take center stage in a gripping tale based on true events involving Indian Air Force officers. Directed by debutant Shakti Pratap Singh Hada, the movie distinguishes itself from its predecessor, Siddharth Anand’s “Fighter,” by steering clear of jingoistic elements.
Addressing comparisons between the two films, Varun Tej emphasized their commitment to a realistic portrayal. He shared insights in a recent interview, stating, “It’s halfway through the shoot that we got to know that multiple projects were being made (on the same subject).” Tej highlighted that “Operation Valentine” delves into the personal journey of IAF officers, focusing not only on the war situation but also on the pilots, their families, and their emotional struggles.
Varun clarified that they were aware of their distinct approach from the beginning, avoiding comparisons with “Fighter.” He stated, “We knew from the beginning that we were apart (from Fighter). They took a different route, and we took a different approach.” The actor expressed confidence in their project, citing the emergence of films like “Fighter” and “Tejas” as sources of inspiration for their aerial action and Air Force-focused narrative.
Importantly, Varun Tej asserted that “Operation Valentine” consciously avoids jingoism and anti-Pakistan sentiments. He explained, “If we are basing it on a true event, we know who was responsible for it. However, it was not to show an entire country in a bad light but to show a few people who were behind the incident that happened in 2019.” Tej emphasized that blaming an entire country is not the film’s intention.
Contrary to claims of “Fighter” being labeled as jingoistic, Siddharth Anand had previously clarified that his film is more nationalistic than jingoistic. He expressed a desire to avoid unnecessary controversies, stating, “Fighter is a happy Indian film. Bharat ki film hai (It’s a patriotic film).”
With “Operation Valentine” slated for a March 1 release, it promises a gripping narrative that puts realism at the forefront, differentiating itself from the controversies surrounding its predecessor.