Cast: Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Gopal Datt, Sapna Pabbi, Sagar Arya, Eva Jane Willis, Medha Rana
Creator: Karishma Bangera
Director: Sachin Pathak
Streaming On: Voot Select
Runtime: 6 Episodes, Around 35-40 Minutes Each.
London Files Review: What’s It About:
Om Singh (Arjun Rampal), who is a senior police detective in London, is assigned to investigate a high profile missing girl, Maya. Om’s initial investigation soon points toward a homicide case thereby implicating her own father and media tycoon Amar Roy (played by Purab Kohli). However, there’s more than what meets the eyes.
The entire story is set against the backdrop of protests and chaos in the city of London after Anti Immigration Bill was introduced in the UK parliament. Media tycoon and father of the missing girl (Medha Rana) is a supporter of the Anti Immigration Bill. This puts him and his family under threat.
Amar Roy and Maya share a bitter-sweet father-daughter relationship but an argument over a controversial bill between them puts the former under the police scanner. Later, a body was recovered and a perfect DNA match led the police to believe him as the murder suspect. Amar’s arrest turns the table completely and, Om Singh then figures out that Maya’s missing case and his past have a connection. Is Maya in actuality dead? Will he be able to solve the case? All this is answered in the six episodes.
London Files Review: What Works:
Arjun Rampal led web series plays a nice tight-rope act between old-world visual storytelling adorned with broad modern brushstrokes. The web series does offer something for everyone. It kept my eye open for all the clues and twists that appear throughout the series.
Director Sachin Pathak and writer Prateek Payodhi did an amazing job of integrating contentious issues like gun control and the immigration crisis across Europe. The story even touches upon the freeloader mindset of the current and future generations, who owe something from the rich and famous, just because they’re not born into privilege. It also showcased how teenagers can be gullible and brainwashed by some charismatic speaker, thereby becoming misguided terrorists under the garb of revolutionaries.
Technically too, London Files had pleasing production values, good camerawork and amazing editing.
London Files Review: Star Performance:
Arjun Rampal, who plays the role of senior detective Om Singh, is seen fighting inner demons and strives to prove himself and his prowess at work. His performance as the troubled cop was only commendable in parts. Moments that needed him to get teary-eyed, he falters.
Sapna Pabbi, who essayed the role of Om Singh’s wife, was largely missing throughout the series. Gopal Dutt is an amazing actor and is well known for his comic timing. However, he tried to break the image with an intense role- surely not something that you will remember him for.
Sagar Arya, on the other hand, who played Arjun Rampal’s friend Ranjh in the web series gave a marvellous performance. Purab Kholi’s performance as media tycoon and father Amar Roy had limited appearance but played it well. He’s one of the actors who you’ll remember even after the show.
London Files Review: What Doesn’t Work:
The story is fast-paced. Perhaps, that’s the reason why certain parts are not well established. While twist and turns kept me hooked on to the story but failed to shock me enough or catch me off guard. Some twists were quite predictable and banal like Amar Roy being falsely implicated in sexual harassment charges and murdering his own daughter who found out about his infidelity. I found the scene to be less convincing and could have written it better. The screenplay gets clumsy too at times as well.
There are certain easily avoidable silly mistakes as well. Gopal Datt gave a very important speech in Hindi to an ethnic community as well as Britishers, and we’re supposed to believe that they understood, which is a significant catalyst to the plot.
It also serves when the Indian cops speak in Hindi in a British police force casually. They even speak Hindi unempathetically around British bosses while discussing the case.
London Files Review: Last Words:
Apart from some of the glaring and avoidable mistakes in script, Sachin Phatak’s London Files is a good weekend watch that will take the audience to the golden era, slow-burn investigative thrillers of the 80s. Although, it could have been as riveting as his previous work Rangbaaz.
Click here to watch the trailer
Missed watching Arjun Rampal’s latest Show? Here’s our Never Kiss Your Best Friend 2 Review.