My review of Dr. Rajkumars 'Operation Diamond Racket':
“ If you come today, it is to early…
If you come tomorrow, it is too late.
You pick the time…
Tic, Tic, Tic… ”
Who in Bangalore doesn’t know these lines from ‘Annavaru’s’ 1978 hit ‘Operation Diamond Racket’, the hatrick performance of Dr. Rajkumar as Prakash, Code: CID 999.
I was one of the privileged few who watched the movie at INOX, on Thursday, at a screening celebrating Suvarna Karnataka.
Operation Diamond Racket is a pure entertainer from shot one. The few of us, who did get to see the film on the big screen, were in splits all through. Be it, Dr.Rajkumar’s slurry accent, with his famous ‘Dorrling’, and Kannada one-liners that can drive even Rajnikant up the wall, or the awesome graphics, The movie keeps you waiting for more ‘Rajkumar Magic’ to unravel with each passing minute.
The story line is simple, undercover cop Prakash (aka Vijay), CID 999, has set out from Namma Bengalooru to foil the attempts of a major baddie, all bent on taking over the world. The story moves from our city, to Cochin, and finally climaxes in Nepal.
On the journey our ‘gentleman’ cop, flirts with several beauties, to get information about the Baddies. He swings with Lolita on one hand, and plays with Jennifer on the other. At the end of the spy saga, however his love is true only for Meena, his co-undercover agent.
He refuses to get intimate with her, though and says ‘that’s not what a true cop would do’ (Lesson in manners to James Bond 007!).
Apart from some really good cabaret performances, in several clubs all across Bangalore and Cochin, the film stands out for some brilliant scenes, such as a boat chase in Cochin, and several Car chases in Nepal. Considering ‘Don’, with Amitabh Bachchan was made in the same year, ‘CID 999’, beats ‘Vijay’ in every field of filmmaking. Technically the film does wonders for the time at which it was made. The graphics are futuristic, and the sets, very believable.
The soundtrack has one killer, as we all know, and the rest of the songs are quite good too. A romantic song shot outdoors in Nepal, however left me bewildered. I was left wondering why Meena had to breathe so heavily after every line that Prakash sang.
What caught my attention however was the use of several Nepali Characters in the film, with really freaky sounding names. We had, Nenzing (?), Prakash’s friend from Nepal, who trained with Prakash in Bangalore, and thus spoke Kannada. We also had Dringku, who graduated from Mount Carmel College, and thus knew Kannada too; she however worked for the Baddies. Doma, an obviously Nepali looking Character, was another weird character. She was supposed to be from Singapore (?). She was also a Baddie, and kidnapped Meena later. The conversations in Hindi between Meena and Doma are worth mention. I just died laughing. I also made an observation that all the baddies knew Kannada, and somewhere during the movie, I was completely convinced, that Kannada was the second language in Nepal.
The movie was made to entertain, and it still manages to do exactly that, and even more. So, if you are in the mood for a perfect Sunday afternoon treat, loaded with one-liners in Kannada that can make you travel in time, and songs that are just pure trip-paradise, Operation Diamond Racket is your next VCD to rent.
Operation Diamond Racket (1978)
Produced by: Anupam Movies,
Directed by: Bhagwan Dorairaj.
Co-Stars: Padmapriya, Vajramuni
Lyrics: Chi. Udayashankar,
Music: GK Venkatesh
Part of a Trilogy, with Dr. Rajkumar as Prakash, Code: CID 999
1) Goa-dalli CID 999 (1968) Opposite, Lakshmi.
2) Operation Jackpot-nalli CID 999 (1969) Opposite, Udayachandrika.
3) Operation Diamond Racket (1978), Opposite, Padmapriya.
Shared his undercover name Vijay with Amitabh Bachchan in Don, aka Vijay, In ‘Don’, released in the same year.
Published November 4th, Page 2, MiDDAY, Bangalore.