It is a start of a new weekend and yes you know the drill. After a few less hectic weeks, this is one weekend which brings back the hustle in me with multiple new releases. First up is the new Hindi series London Files which released on Voot Select. In times of thrillers, this is another one that is added to the list. But I quickly realised that this is directed by Sachin Pathak who had earlier given us gems like A Simple Murder and Kathmandu Connection. And that made me excited. To top it, the series starred Arjun Rampal and his Rock On co-star Purab Kohli and with that I expected nothing short of ‘magik’. So then does London Files manage to set the adrenaline rushing, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
London Files follows the story of an investigating officer investigating the disappearance of a girl against the backdrop of an anti-immigration bill which has caused unrest. The story is important and relevant considering the social issue which it was trying to address. The screenplay too opens on a thrilling note with an interesting backstory too. The drama standing at 6 episodes of 30 odd minutes each made it binge worthy as well. But soon the issues begin to creep in slightly. I had an issue with the characterization of so many characters barring the protagonist. The surface level treatment given to them reduces the overall impact of the drama. Perhaps, a little background could have been provided and a bit of the drama could have been fleshed out more considering that the subject was a great one. And this is something which I had mentionsd in my review of Hurdang. If you are tackling an issue, it is important to get to the root of it as opposed to the surface level treatment. I understood that the writers were balancing a thriller with a social issue but the prime focus should have been on atleast one of them. You get an inkling that things were too simplistic at the end of the day.
But there are things to be appreciated too. The subtle twists and turns(some of them) are good and they make the drama consistently watchable. The length of the series is definitely a big plus and it doesn’t require much effort to wrap it up. And the end messaging was good and heartwarming although the final act could have been more thrilling. Overall, a decent piece of writing which will keep you intrigued for most parts.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are very well written and they carry a lot of weight and make an impact. The music is pretty good and the BGM which is sparingly used adds to the drama well. The cinematography and production design are pretty good. Director Sachin Pathak has done a good job here. He is able to maintain a grip on the drama despite its writing flaws which makes the drama consistently watchable.
The performances are good but the issue was with the characterization. Purab Kohli, Sapna Pabbi and even Sagar Arya all have their moments to shine but their characters were half baked. Nisha Aaliya shines as Puja in a limited screentime. Gopal Datt as Gopi is menacing and it is heartening to see him experiment with negative roles. I wished to see some of his backstory as well though to completely get into the psyche of his character. Medha Rana as Maya definitely manages to impress. Shanice Archer as Carol is absolutely first rate. But this is an Arjun Rampal show out and out. As Om, he really puts forth a well restrained performance as a man who is disturbed due to his past yet trying to be in the present and aiding in the investigation.
London Files is intriguing and gripping in most parts with some good performances which makes this is a good one time watch. Available on Voot Select.